Pneumonia is a type of respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It can be caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1.6 million people die annually from this disease. On this occasion, Dr. Javier Jáuregui, a pulmonologist at our institution, will give us 4 important facts about this condition.
- People who had severe COVID-19, were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, were left with sequelae in the lungs, and required mechanical ventilation, are at greater risk of developing severe pneumonia. Here lies the importance of acquiring a healthy lifestyle and avoiding risk situations such as staying in spaces with little ventilation, overcrowding, or having contact with people who have strong flu and/or cold symptoms.
- The pneumonia vaccine is recommended for people over 70 years of age or who suffer from a comorbidity such as diabetes, cirrhosis, renal failure, neoplastic diseases, as well as smokers. Children should also be immunized. According to UNICEF reports, it is the leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age. Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life reduces the risk of pneumonia and the time of infection.
- It can be prevented with simple healthy habits: washing your hands with soap, cleaning and disinfecting frequently used surfaces, covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, managing persistent conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and wearing masks in places closed or poorly ventilated.
- Cough, yellow sputum, shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid breathing, wheezing, retraction of the lower chest during inspiration, general decay are the main symptoms of this infection. In these cases, it is recommended to go to the nearest health center to receive medical attention in a quick and timely manner and to perform a chest X-ray to assess the involvement of the lungs.
Pneumonia can be prevented with a balanced diet, control of environmental factors and especially with vaccination. Protect yourself and avoid putting your health at risk.
Dr. Javier Jáuregui
Pulmonologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma