According to the experts, pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection and can affect one’s lungs severely and is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection which causes an inflammatory response in the lungs.
When we talk about walking pneumonia, it is basically the milder form of the disease and one doesn’t need hospitalisation for it and can even do daily chores with ease as you have flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, chest pain, headache etc.
According to a doctors’ body, pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death and is especially fatal in elderly, young children and those with underlying chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart, lung, liver and kidney disease.
It said the most frequent cause of pneumonia in children and elderly is pneumococcus, a bacterial infection which is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets of the infected person.
As per WHO Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide. It killed 740 180 children under the age of 5 in 2019, accounting for 14% of all deaths of children under 5 years old but 22% of all deaths in children aged 1 to 5 years. Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere, but deaths are highest in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, according to WHO. Children can be protected from pneumonia, it can be prevented with simple interventions, and it can be treated with low-cost, low-tech medication and care.
The global health body underlined that preventing pneumonia in children is an essential component of a strategy to reduce child mortality. Immunization against Hib, pneumococcus, measles and whooping cough (pertussis) is the most effective way to prevent pneumonia, it says.
Adequate nutrition is also important to improving children’s natural defences, starting with exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. In addition to being effective in preventing pneumonia, it also helps to reduce the length of the illness if a child does become ill.
Also, addressing environmental factors such as indoor air pollution and encouraging good hygiene in crowded homes also reduces the number of children who fall ill with pneumonia.
This year, the World Pneumonia Day theme was “Every Breath Counts: Stop Pneumonia in Its Track”, highlighting the significance of every breath, and underscored the urgency of stopping pneumonia through early detection, treatment, and prevention. Pneumonia is a preventable and treatable infectious disease. There is need to educate people and provide them with better facilities.