Everything you need to know about Pneumonia
India has had a substantial number of pneumonia cases in the recent past, and the country accounts for approximately 20% of its associated global deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease is the root cause of one out of three deaths in India, and more than 2 lakh children (under the age of 5) die annually.
What is Pneumonia?
Classified as an infection, Pneumonia inflames the air sacs in the lungs. It can be caused by fungi, bacteria, or virus. The air sacs are filled with either fluid or pus, leading to cough and breathing issues. Children below the age of 5 and adults above the age of 65 are extremely prone to the disease.
There are 4 types of this medical condition:
This type can be caused due to a weak immune system, inhaling a large amount of bacteria, or immediately after recovering from flu or cold.
Bacteria with increased resistance to antibiotics are largely responsible for this type. It is generally found in people who have been living in care facilities for a long period of time.
As the name suggests, this type is contracted in a hospital by an individual with a weak immune system. In such cases, intensive care or bacteria-free rooms are provided to the patient.
It is caused due to the inhalation of food, drink, or saliva into the lungs.
It is difficult to notice the symptoms, prominently in infants. A casual fever or cough may indicate pneumonia, and the parent may not be able to tell the difference. Some of the other signs and symptoms include:-
- Cough coupled with phlegm
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain while coughing
- Mental confusion in aged people
- Vaccination for children is the most important step towards prevention. Consult the nearest doctor immediately for information regarding the corresponding shots. For instance, vaccination for children below the age of 24 months is different from the children of age group between 2 to 5 years.
- Ensure 8 hours of sleep, along with a diet rich in vitamin and minerals. Strong immune systems are more effective in fighting off the cause of pneumonia, be it bacteria or virus.
- In case you have a weak immune system or you feel that you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, quit smoking immediately.
- Use hand sanitizers and wash your hands before every meal. The idea is to keep your general routine as hygienic as possible.
It is important to remember that increasing awareness about the disease can help in decreasing the number of deaths to a great extent.