No one is spared from pneumonia, be it kids or the elderly. That’s why it’s always better to be aware and guarded before the disease hits you or someone in your family real hard.
World Pneumonia Day: Pneumonia an acute respiratory infection commonly caused by virus or bacteria is the single biggest infectious killer of adults and children claiming the lives of 2.5 million, including 6,72,000 children in 2019. The surge in Covid pneumonia cases in the recent times are expected to add significantly to the total number of deaths due to pneumonia.
World Pneumonia Day is observed every year on November 12 to raise awareness about the disease.
Overall, India accounts for 23 per cent of the pneumonia burden globally and case fatality rates range between 14 and 30 per cent.
The situation in children is no different where it continues to be the leading cause of mortality worldwide with India accounting for 20% of those deaths and having a higher burden of childhood pneumonia than any other country.
Dr. Viswesvaran Balasubramanian Consultant Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad shares more facts about types of pneumonia, causes, symptoms, prevention and its treatment.
What is Pneumonia?
Any infection causing an inflammatory response in the lung is referred to as pneumonia. Though the majority of pneumonia is caused by bacterial infections, viral infections like influenza or COVID 19 virus can also affect the lungs and can cause serious inflammatory damage to them as evidenced in the ongoing pandemic.
Causes of Pneumonia
“In India, tuberculosis continues to remain a major cause of pneumonia especially amongst people with low socioeconomic status and those with impaired immunity. It is observed that a higher incidence of pneumonia is reported amongst those who are smokers or have a history of alcohol intake or other illlicit substance abuse or those with underlying chronic respiratory conditions like COPD,” says Dr. Balasubramanian.
Other factors that can cause pneumonia
* Poor nutritional intake especially amongst children
* Inadequate ventilation at home or workplace
* Presence of underlying immunocompromised conditions like HIV
* Those who are on steroids or other immunosuppressant medications for organ transplant or autoimmune disorders
* Those with uncontrolled diabetes are also at a higher risk of getting pneumonia