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Pneumonia is one of the most important public health problems in the world

The Global Coalition Against Childhood Pneumonia, due to the significant percentage of deaths from the disease, initiated a process in 2009 that drew the attention of the medical community to this problem.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced November 12 as World Pneumonia Day.

According to the WHO, pneumonia is the cause of about 15% of deaths of children under the age of five - every minute two babies in the world die from pneumonia.

Pneumonia, or inflammation of the lungs, is a form of acute respiratory infection that mainly affects the alveoli (microbubbles, the main functional element of the lungs).

In a healthy person, the alveoli are filled with air, while in a patient with pneumonia, mucus and fluid accumulate in the alveoli, which complicates gas exchange and causes pain during breathing.

A patient with pneumonia needs the fastest possible diagnosis and inpatient treatment in specialized medical institutions.

The main causative agents of pneumonia are bacteria, viruses, fungi and some of the simplest microorganisms.

The development of bacterial pneumonia in children is most often caused by pneumococci (Streptococcus Pneumoniae) and Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib).

And the most common cause of viral pneumonia is respiratory syncytial virus infection (acute viral disease from the SARS group).

Mechanisms of infection:

☛ respiratory syncytial virus enters the body when a person touches objects with viruses, bacteria or fungi, and then touches the eyes or nose;

☛ both viruses and bacteria are spread by airborne droplets (through the nasal or oral cavity);

☛ through blood, bacterial infection of babies often occurs during childbirth or immediately after birth.

The most common symptoms of pneumonia:

☛ increase in body temperature (38–39 °C, less often — 37.2–37.4 °C), fever;

☛ cough with discharge of mucous-purulent (greenish) or even purulent sputum, sometimes there may be a "dry" cough;

☛ feeling of lack of air, decreased appetite;

☛ fatigue, drowsiness, sweating;

☛ shortness of breath due to physical exertion, sometimes pain behind the sternum;

☛ retraction of the chest - during inhalation, its lower part collapses (in a healthy person, the chest expands during inhalation);

☛ wheezing while breathing (more often with viral infections).

Prevention of pneumonia in children and adults includes:

• vaccination;

• strengthening of immunity;

• sufficient and balanced nutrition;

• Healthy Lifestyle;

• regular physical activity in the fresh air;

• compliance with the rules of personal hygiene;

• adequate treatment of other health problems.

Prevention of pneumonia in children is one of the main elements of the global strategy to reduce the level of child mortality.

Scheduled vaccination against Hib infection, pneumococcal infection, measles and whooping cough is recognized as the most effective method of preventing pneumonia.

People of different ages, social status and profession can get pneumonia.

But still there are risk factors:

☛ age (pneumonia is more common in young children and the elderly);

☛ diabetes mellitus;

️ ☛ other chronic diseases;

️ ☛ work in public places and contact with a large number of people.

Treating pneumonia on your own is extremely dangerous.

If you have symptoms or suspect pneumonia, contact your doctor immediately!

Only a specialist can confirm or deny your fears, make a diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

The symptoms of various diseases of the respiratory organs are very similar, and untimely referral to specialists often becomes fatal for the patient.

Remember: self-medication, especially with the use of antibiotics, can significantly complicate the diagnosis of pneumonia and subsequent professional therapy!

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