MedlinePlus states that Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of the lungs. Many germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can cause pneumonia. You can also get pneumonia by inhaling a liquid or chemical. People most at risk are older than 65 or younger than 2 years of age or already have health problems.
Globally, Pneumonia kills nearly 1 million children younger than 5 years of age each year. The number of children killed by Pneumonia is greater than the number of deaths from any infectious disease, such as HIV infection, malaria or tuberculosis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 61.3.% of adults 65 years and over has had a pneumococcal vaccination. Over 53,200 people died in 2013 of Pneumonia. Pneumonia was listed in over 1.1 million hospital inpatient discharges in 2010. The hospital stay averaged 5 days. Pneumonia is a major problem in the United States!
Your doctor will use your medical history, a physical exam, and lab tests to diagnose pneumonia. Treatment depends on what kind you have. If bacteria are the cause, antibiotics should help. If you have viral pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medicine to treat it. Learn more about the common causes of Pneumonia at this CDC website.
Prevention is Always Better!
Preventing pneumonia is always better than treating it. Vaccines are available to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia and the flu. Other preventive measures include washing your hands frequently and not smoking.
Jay Harold realizes that taking injections raises concern among African-Americans. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study will make any black person uncomfortable with healthcare professionals. Jay Harold has a post, “Talking to Doctor Presents Challenges for African Americans,” that looks at the sometimes difficult interactions between doctors and Black People.
Despite the problems, vaccines are useful in the prevention of Pneumonia! Jay Harold highlights information from the CDC about Pneumonia Vaccines;
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV13 or Prevnar 13®, is currently recommended for all children younger than 5 years old, all adults 65 years or older, and people 6 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions.
Pneumovax® is a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) that is currently recommended for use in all adults 65 years or older. Pneumovax® is also for people who are 2 years or older and at high risk for pneumococcal disease (e.g., those with sickle cell disease, HIV infection, or other immunocompromised conditions). PPSV23 is also recommended for use in adults 19 through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes or who have asthma.
Pneumonia is No Joke: Protect Yourself!
Jay Harold is often involved in the treatment of Pneumonia Patients. Hospitalized patients require antibiotics and around the clock care. There are several things you can do to protect yourself. The CDC has several recommendations:
Try to avoid close contact with sick people. While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. Following good hygiene practices can also help prevent respiratory infections. Good hygiene practices include washing your hands regularly, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or into your elbow or sleeve. You can also reduce your risk of getting pneumonia by limiting exposure to cigarette smoke and treating and preventing conditions like diabetes.