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
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 also observed those who are smokers or have a history of alcohol intake or other illicit substance abuse or those with underlying chronic respiratory conditions like COPD.
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
Symptoms of Pneumonia
- high-grade fever with or without chills and rigor
- They may have cough with yellowish or green-coloured sputum
- They may feel breathlessness
- Few patients may also experience chest pain, occasional coughing out of blood or loss in appetite.
Chest X-ray ,blood workup ,CT scan of the chest Sputum examination RT PCR In a small proportion of cases, patients are subjected to invasive procedures like Bronchoscopy to arrive at a proper etiological diagnosis
- Timely vaccination, especially amongst the high-risk groups. Various adult vaccines like
- influenza and pneumococcal
- Abstinence from smoking and drinking.
- Adequate nutrition
- Routine physical activity
- Avoiding overcrowding
- Hand hygiene
- Cough Etiquette
- Our efforts to mobilize communities to educate and empower families, and strengthen
health systems to prevent, diagnosis and treat pneumonia, will make a big difference to a
disease that is both preventable and treatable.