World Pneumonia Day was established in 2006 by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness of pneumonia and its prevention. This year’s theme is “Pneumonia: The Silent Killer.”
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. It is usually spread through droplets of respiratory secretions when people with the disease cough, sneeze, talk, sing, laugh, or breathe out. People who are at high risk for developing pneumonia include those with weakened immune systems, such as older adults, children under 5 years old, and people living with HIV/AIDS.
What Is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a serious condition that affects the lungs. It is characterized by inflammation of the air sacs (alveoli) in the lung tissue. This results in increased mucus production and fluid buildup in the alveoli. In some cases, the lining of the alveoli becomes inflamed and thickens, causing them to become plugged. As a result, the affected area does not receive enough oxygen.
How Can I Help Prevent Pneumonia?
There are several ways to prevent pneumonia. One of the easiest ways is to avoid getting sick in the first place. If you do catch a cold or flu, make sure to stay home and rest until your symptoms subside. Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or sneezing. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Clean surfaces frequently using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
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