That lingering cough or those shaking chills might not be symptoms of just a common cold. These might be the symptoms of pneumonia, which is currently the number 1 killer of children under 5, claiming more young lives than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. So on World Pneumonia Day, November 12, doctors reiterate on the need for early intervention in this totally treatable disease.
Unfortunately this preventable and treatable disease affects 155 million children under 5 and kills almost 1.6 million each year. Often the early symptoms of this respiratory infection, get overlooked and by the time the patients are brought to the hospital it is already very late. So doctors emphasize on the need for watching out for symptoms and taking the patients to the nearest healthcare facilities at the earliest.
Pneumonia is a lung inflammation caused by bacterial or viral infection, in which the air sacs fill with pus and may become solid. Inflammation may affect both the lungs, one lung or only certain lobes. In most cases it is treatable with doses of antibiotics from the doctor, but in certain aggravated cases hospital stay might be needed. In infants, babies and elderly people or those with some preexisting ailments like asthama or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases), the infection might get complicated requiring hospital stay and lengthy treatment options.
As part of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the focus is to reduce by two-thirds the under-five mortality rate, and with Pneumonia being the causative factor in almost 20 per cent of these deaths, healthcare providers stress on the importance of tackling this preventable disease.
Causes of Pneumonia:
If you have viral pneumonia, you also are at risk of getting bacterial pneumonia.
Understanding the cause of pneumonia is important because pneumonia treatment depends on its cause.