The Differences and Similarities of Pneumonia and Tuberculosis

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The Differences and Similarities of Pneumonia and Tuberculosis

Pneumonia and tuberculosis have been plaguing the citizens of the world for centuries causing millions of deaths. This occurred until the creation and use of antibiotics become more widely available. These two respiratory infections have many differences, which include their etiology, incidence and prevalence, and many similarities in their objective and subject indicators, medical interventions, course, rehabilitation and effects.

To explore the relationship between pneumonia and tuberculosis we will examine a case study. Joan is a 35 year old women who was feeling fine up till a few weeks ago when she develop a sore throat. Since her sore throat she had been experiencing chest pain, a loss of appetite, coughing and a low fever so she went to visit her doctor. Her doctor admitted her to the hospital with bacterial pneumonia and after three days of unsuccessful treatment it was discovered that she actually had active tuberculosis. This misdiagnosis shows the similarities between the two diseases and how easily they can be confused.


Pneumonia is a serious infection or inflammation of the lungs with exudation and consolidation. Pneumonia can be one of two types: lobar pneumonia or bronchial pneumonia. Lobar pneumonia affects one lobe of a lung while bronchial pneumonia affects the areas closest to the bronchi (O'Toole, 1992). In the United States over three million people are infected with pneumonia each year; five percent of which die.


There are over 30 causes for pneumonia however there are 4 main causes which are bacterial, viral, mycoplasma and fungal (American Lung Association, 1996). Bacterial pneumonia attacks everyone from young to old, however "alcoholics, the debilitated, post-operative patients, people with respiratory disease or viral infections and people who have weakened immune systems are at greater risk" (American Lung...
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