Viral Pleurisy Symptoms and Treatment | Is Viral Pleurisy Contagious?

Question: What other health problems come with similar symptoms of pleurisy? Also I want to know symptoms and treatment for viral pleurisy? I have heard that it is contagious? Is that true?
Answer: The lung is surrounded by a covering called pleura. Any inflammation in the pleura is known as pleurisy. The pleura have two layers, one which surrounds the lung is called the visceral pleura and the one which surrounds the chest wall is called the parietal pleura. Between the two layers of pleura there is fluid present for its lubrication.

This fluid is called pleural fluid.

When there is excessive accumulation of fluid in between the pleural space this condition is referred to as pleural effusion or some call it as pleurisy.

What Causes Viral Pleurisy

The most common cause of pleurisy is viral infection, the other cause of pleurisy are as follows.

  • Viral infection (dengue viral fever, viral pneumonia)
  • Bacterial infection  (tuberculosis of lungs)
  • Inhalation of chemical substances: chlorine, ammonia.
  • Collagen disease: rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cancer of lungs, and breast cancer.
  • Fracture of ribs can cause damage to the pleura resulting to pleural effusion.
  • Pancreatitis, cirrhosis of liver.

Symptoms Of Viral Pleurisy

  • Fever
  • Stabbing pain in the chest which is aggravated by breathing.
  • Breathing difficulty if the accumulation of the fluid is large in the pleural space.
  • The classical sign of pleural rub can be elicited by a stethoscope. It is the rubbing sound of the two pleural layers.
  • Cough
  • Loss of appetite.

Treatment For Viral Pleurisy

  • External splinting of the chest wall can reduce the pain of pleurisy.
  • Treating the underlying cause like tuberculosis, heart disease or kidney disease will reduce the effusion.
  • If the pleural effusion is more removal of fluid from the chest cavity can relieve the pain and breathlessness. This procedure is called thoracocentesis.

Is Viral Pleurisy Contagious

  • No. Viral pleurisy is not contagious.