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What Is “White Lung Pneumonia” & Should We Be Alarmed? | Medical Minute With Dr. Mel

Fantastic Voyage Generic Graphics Updated Nov 2023
Virus and bacteria infected the Human lungs. lung disease.3d render

Source: Mohammed Haneefa Nizamudeen / Getty

Winter is here and with it comes with it is diseases like Pneumonia. What is equally concerning is kids in school potentially bringing back some of these ailments that may affect their siblings and parents. In today’s Medical Minute with Dr. Mel, Dr. Melissa Clarke discusses one form of pneumonia that has been a topic lately, “white lung pneumonia” and whether should we be alarmed. You can also read some of Dr. Clarke’s thoughts below.


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What is “white lung pneumonia” and should we be alarmed?

Dr. Mel: There might be concern, you know, when we hear about these unexplained cases of childhood pneumonia in China but what’s being called white lung pneumonia here in the United States is not really a medical term. It’s it isn’t really a thing and it’s not linked to anything happening in China.

It’s basically the way that a lung X-ray looks in some cases of pneumonia due to fluid being in the lungs. The lungs are sick. That’s what pneumonia is. So, there’s no actual uptick in the rate of pneumonia diagnosis compared to previous winters. There are no new viruses or bacteria at play in. There are cases of pneumonia happening, but nothing to worry about in general.


How dangerous is walking pneumonia? Especially for these young kids?

Dr. Mel: It’s something to be taken seriously. Any pneumonia is. But it’s treatable, treatable with antibiotics. And typically walking pneumonia means it’s not severe enough to be hospitalized for. And it responds very well to antibiotics if it’s bacterial pneumonia or just rest, TLC, and time.