Indications : The test is ordered when symptoms of viral infection is suspected.
Sputum collection is done early in the morning. The patient must refrain from eating or drinking before the test. It is also essential to brush teeth and rinse mouth well prior to the test. Avoid using antiseptic mouthwash. Sputum may be brought up by deep coughing (expectorated) or it may be or induced with the help of sterile saline or glycerin aerosol. Coughed up sputum is collected into a sterile cup provided by the laboratory. A CT scan of the chest generally helps to diagnose pneumonia. Blood tests may be done to diagnose specific viruses that may be responsible for pneumonia. Sometimes a small part of the sputum is taken and added to growth medium specific for viruses.
Physiology : Viral pneumonia is a lung inflammation caused by viral infection. It is particularly common in young children and old individuals. The condition is caused by viruses such as adenovirus, influenza and para influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus.
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