- Coldplay singer Chris Martin is battling a serious lung infection.
- The group had to cancel concerts due to illness.
- A lung infection is a type of infection of the lower respiratory tract and can lead to symptoms such as congestion, coughing and difficulty breathing.
The group Coldplay said on October 4 that it had to postpone its upcoming concerts in Brazil because its lead singer, Chris Martin, is suffering from a “serious lung infection” and must rest for three weeks under doctor’s orders.
A lung infection is a type of lower respiratory tract infection and can lead to symptoms such as congestion, coughing and difficulty breathing.
These infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi. Although many people recover on their own, sometimes a lung infection can be serious enough to require a person to be hospitalized.
“While upper respiratory tract infections can also impact people, lower respiratory tract infections are really where the threat of significant complications and death can arise,” said pulmonologist Dr. David A. Beuther. and associate professor at National Jewish Health in Denver.
A type of lower respiratory tract infection that many people are familiar with is
Before antibiotics became available, bacterial pneumonia killed many people, Beuther said. “But even today with antibiotics, this kind of infection can [worsen]“, he said, “especially in the elderly, very young or vulnerable”.
Pneumonia can also be caused by viruses.
For a long time, the “most common and deadliest” type of viral pneumonia was caused by the flu virus, Beuther said, but now it’s due to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. 19.
“There are also times when a person can get viral pneumonia and then secondary bacterial pneumonia” on top of that, he said.
Another common lower respiratory tract infection is
Dr. Thomas Yadegar, a pulmonologist and ICU medical director at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, said there was some overlap between symptoms of pneumonia and acute bronchitis.
With acute bronchitis, people may have a cough, mild fever, body aches, weakness, and fatigue. “These are all symptoms that you can also have with pneumonia,” Yadegar said.
But he added that people with pneumonia can also feel pain when breathing deeply or coughing. and they usually have a high fever, 103°F or higher.
Another thing that differentiates the two types of infections is that “with bronchitis, people can mostly go about their daily activities,” he said. Whereas with pneumonia they feel exhausted, lack energy and may lose their appetite, he said.
Lower respiratory tract infections can happen to anyone, but some people are at greater risk of serious illness and may have a harder time recovering.
“We certainly worry about people who are impaired in some way,” Beuther said.
He said that includes infants and newborns – especially premature babies, whose immune systems are still developing – and those over 65.
Additionally, people with compromised immune systems, either due to a medical condition or medication that suppresses the immune system, are at higher risk for serious lung infections, he said.
Certain underlying medical conditions also put people at increased risk, including lung disease, said Dr. Fady Youssef, a pulmonologist, internist and critical care specialist at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif.
“This group would include patients with asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease or lung cancer – any disease that decreases the lung’s ability to fight infection”, or affects the lung’s ability to absorb the air, he said. .
Asked about Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Beuther said being a professional singer was not a particular risk factor for serious lower respiratory tract infections.
“Anyone, even a young, healthy person, can get pneumonia,” he said. “I have even seen healthy young people die of pneumonia. This always happens despite good care.
However, being depressed, under a lot of stress and not getting enough sleep can increase the risk of developing pneumonia, he said.
“Your immune system can be compromised somewhat just by overworking yourself, being overtired and not eating properly,” he said.
But being run down isn’t something only rock band musicians experience.
“We see it in athletes who have overtrained, for example, or even new parents who don’t sleep well with their new baby at home,” Beuther said.
Youssef said the majority of people who get a viral respiratory infection get better on their own with supportive care, such as rest, drinking fluids and eating healthy foods.
However, “if within a two-day window you don’t improve, you definitely need to see a doctor,” Yadegar said.
People whose infection is due to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may want to see a doctor as soon as possible.
You may be eligible for drugs — Paxlovid or Lagevrio — that can reduce your risk of serious illness. These treatments work best when started within 5 days of the onset of symptoms.
There are also other things you can do to reduce your risk of serious illness from lower respiratory tract infections.
“Vaccination remains an important defense against [certain types of] pneumonia,” Beuther said. “One of the deadliest is called pneumococcal pneumonia, and we have vaccines that protect against that.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“Plus, getting the flu shot every year can significantly lower your risk of dying from flu pneumonia,” Beuther said.
And “if people haven’t had at least three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, they’re not doing what they can to protect themselves from viral pneumonia caused by the coronavirus,” he said. .