What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that is most commonly caused by viruses or bacteria that affects the lungs.
The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when a healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake. Pneumonia is generally spread by direct contact with infected people.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. Globally, pneumonia causes more deaths than any other infectious disease.
Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition, and by addressing environmental factors.
Pneumonia caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics, but only one third of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics they need.
Pneumonia is caused by a number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are:
Pneumonia can be spread in a number of ways. The viruses and bacteria that are commonly found in a child`s nose or throat, can infect the lungs if they are inhaled. They may also spread via air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze. In addition, pneumonia may spread through blood, especially during and shortly after birth.
When you visit your doctor to see if you have pneumonia, there are some medical examination that may be suggested by your doctor, as follows:
If you have bacterial pneumonia, you will get antibiotics. Make sure you take all of the medicine your doctor gives you, even if you start to feel better.
If you have viral pneumonia, antibiotics won`t help. You will need to rest, drink a lot of fluids, and take medicines for your fever.
You may need to go to a hospital if your symptoms are severe or if you have other conditions that make you more likely to have complications.
With any kind of pneumonia, you`re going to need lots of rest. You might need a week off your usual routines, but you might still feel tired for a month.
To prevent 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.
Adequate nutrition is key 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.
Addressing environmental factors such as indoor air pollution (by providing affordable clean indoor stoves, for example) and encouraging good hygiene in crowded homes also reduces the number of children who fall ill with pneumonia.
The WHO and UNICEF integrated Global action plan for pneumonia and diarrhoea (GAPPD) aims to accelerate pneumonia control with a combination of interventions to protect, prevent, and treat pneumonia in children with actions to: