This day is observed every year on November 12, since 2009 to:
- Raise awareness about pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under the age of 5.
- Promote interventions to help protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia.
- Generate awareness and encourage action to help combat pneumonia worldwide.
Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs, making breathing painful and limiting oxygen intake.
Pneumonia is also the biggest killer of children under age 5 worldwide. Nearly one in every five deaths in children globally is due to pneumonia every year.
This is a preventable and treatable illness via vaccines, antibiotic treatment, and improved sanitation.
Here’s what you should know about pneumococcal pneumonia:
What is Pneumococcal Pneumonia? from “Know Pneumonia” website:
- It can strike anywhere, anytime.
- Feeling sick may start quickly with little warning.
- Certain symptoms, like cough and fatigue, can last for weeks or longer.
- Illness may result in hospitalization.
- Severe cases, may lead to death.
- Risk increases with age.
50 or older? Your risk of being hospitalized after getting pneumococcal pneumonia is 8X greater than younger adults aged 18 – 49.
- Germs called bacteria or viruses are the usual causes of pneumonia.
- Pneumonia starts once you breathe the germs into your lungs.
- You may be more likely to get the disease after having a cold or the flu. These illnesses make it hard for your lungs to fight infection, so it is easier, to get pneumonia.
- Having a long-term, or chronic, disease like asthma , heart disease , cancer , or diabetes also makes you more likely to get pneumonia.
Symptoms of pneumonia which are caused by bacteria usually come on quickly. Including:
- Cough: You will likely cough up mucus (sputum) from your lungs. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood.
- Fast breathing and feeling short of breath.
- Shaking and ” teeth-chattering” chills.
- Chest pain that often feels worse when you cough or breathe in.
- Fast heartbeat.
- Feeling very tired or very weak.
- Nausea and vomiting .
- Diarrhea .
Older adults may have different, fewer, or milder symptoms.
They may not have a fever. Or they may have a cough but not bring up mucus.
The main sign of pneumonia in older adults may be a change in how well they think. Confusion or delirium is common.
Or, if they already have a lung disease , that disease may get worse.
Symptoms caused by viruses are the same as those caused by bacteria. But they may come on slowly and often are not as obvious or as bad.
Viruses, bacteria, a fungus , or…
(Or in rare cases) parasites or other organisms can cause pneumonia :
- In most cases, the specific organism (such as bacteria or virus) cannot be identified even with testing.
- When an organism is identified, it is usually the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae.
- Mycoplasma pneumoniae is sometimes mild and called “walking pneumonia “.
- Viruses, such as influenza A (the flu virus), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can cause pneumonia.
In people who have impaired immune systems, pneumonia may be caused by other organisms, including some forms of fungi, such as Pneumocystis jiroveci (formerly called Pneumocystis carinii). This fungus frequently causes pneumonia in people who have AIDS.
Some doctors may suggest an HIV test if they think that Pneumocystis jiroveci is causing the pneumonia.
How do you get pneumonia?
You may get pneumonia:
- After you breathe infected air particles into your lungs from your nose and throat. This generally occurs during sleep.
- During or after a viral upper respiratory infection , such as a cold or influenza ( flu ).
- As a complication of a viral illness, such as measles or chickenpox.
- If you have a long-term (chronic) illness, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ) or Emphysema.
- If you breathe large amounts of food, gastric juices from the stomach , or vomit into the lungs ( aspiration pneumonia ). This can happen when you have had a medical condition that affects your ability to swallow, such as a seizure or a stroke.
Note: Where’d You get Pneumonia?
Did you contract pneumonia in your daily life, such as at school or work (community-associated pneumonia) or when in a hospital or nursing home (healthcare-associated pneumonia).
Treatment may differ in healthcare-associated pneumonia, because bacteria causing the infection in hospitals may be different from those causing it in the community.
The following focuses on treatments for community-associated pneumonia.
(Evidentially, that will happen after Lily’s ramblings…LOL!)
Lily&Q’s Say…You gotta LOVE your Fellow “pneumonia-Diagnosed” Man is all We have to say here!Try to minimize body fluid exchange when your partner is sick, is the only other helpful thing we can seem to say.By no means is this any kind of doctor’s orders, either but it’s heartfelt for sure!
We can assure you that there will be plenty of time for playing Doctor or “Nursey” once your Beloved is feeling better, so hold that thought for right now, at least.
In the meantime however, keep track of symptoms, push fluids, and manage any fever. Be prepared to call the doctor if needed, too.
Get the hot chocolate and marshmellows ready, just in case…!
Treatment for pneumonia involves curing the infection and preventing complications.
People who have community-acquired pneumonia usually can be treated at home with medication.
Although most symptoms ease in a few days or weeks, the feeling of tiredness can persist for a month or more.
Specific treatments depend on the type and severity of your pneumonia, your age and your overall health.
The options for home treatment might include:
- Antibiotics are medicines that are used in the treatment of bacterial pneumonia. It may take time to identify the type of bacteria causing your pneumonia and to choose the best antibiotic to treat it, though. If your symptoms don’t improve, your doctor may recommend a different antibiotic.
- Cough medicine may be used to calm your cough so that you can rest. Because coughing helps loosen and move fluid from your lungs, it’s a good idea not to eliminate your cough completely. In addition, you should know that very few studies have looked at whether over-the-counter cough medicines lessen coughing caused by pneumonia. If you want to try a cough suppressant, use the lowest dose that helps you rest.
- Fever reducers/pain relievers may be taken as needed for fever and discomfort. These include drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, acetaminophen (Tylenol, Motrin as well as others your doctor may prescribe.
hospitalization Might Be Necessary If:
- You are older than age 65.
- You are confused about time, people or places.
- Your kidney function has declined.
- Your systolic blood pressure is below 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or your diastolic blood pressure is 60 mm Hg or above.
- Your breathing is rapid (30 breaths or more a minute).
- You need breathing assistance.
- Your temperature is below normal.
- Your heart rate is below 50 or above 100.
You may be admitted to the intensive care unit if you need to be placed on a breathing machine (ventilator) or if your symptoms are severe.
These tips can help you recover more quickly and decrease your risk of complications:
- Get plenty of rest. Don’t go back to school or work until after your temperature returns to normal and you stop coughing up mucus. Even when you start to feel better, be careful not to overdo it. Because pneumonia can recur, it’s better not to jump back into your routine until you are fully recovered. Ask your doctor if you’re not sure.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to help loosen mucus in your lungs.
- Take your medicine as prescribed. Take the entire course of any medications which your doctor prescribed for you. That means taking every pill until they are done,not quit when you start to feel better. If you stop taking medication too soon, your lungs may continue to harbor bacteria that can multiply and cause your pneumonia to reoccur.
Be ready to answer questions your doctor may ask:
- When did you first start having symptoms?
- Have you had pneumonia before? If so, in which lung?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional? How severe are they?
- What, if anything, seems to improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Have you traveled or been exposed to chemicals or toxic substances?
- Have you been exposed to sick people at home, school or work?
- Do you smoke? Or have you ever smoked?
- How much alcohol do you consume in a week?
- Have you had flu or pneumonia vaccines?
What you can do in the meantime To avoid making your condition worse:
- Don’t smoke or be around smoke
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Get plenty of rest
The entire article and more resources can be found here from mayo clinic staff
Common Side Effects of Pneumovax 23 (Pneumococcal Vaccine
You cannot get pneumonia from the vaccine. The shots only contain an extract of the pneumonia bacteria, not the actual bacteria that cause the illness. But some people have mild side effects from the vaccine, and some of these common side effects of Pneumovax 23 include:
- injection site reactions (pain, soreness, warmth, redness, swelling, tenderness, hard lump)
- muscle or joint aches or pain
- stiffness of the arm or the leg where the vaccine was injected
Go to pneumovax-23 side-effects for more information.
Call your doctor to discuss anything that seems out of the ordinary after you receive a routine vaccine of any type since you know your body the best!
Get Protected with Pneumovax 23 vaccine & Do it TODAY!