Why Should Patient Awareness Regarding Pneumonia Increase? Indians must understand how pneumonia can spread and what steps they need to take.

Pneumonia is one of the deadliest menace that India has to face every year. It is estimated that 50% of the world’s pneumonia deaths occur in India. This means that approximately 3.7 lakh children in India die of pneumonia every year. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the weakening of the immune system of those that were affected. As it is known that pneumonia affects those that have a weak immune system, the number of pneumonia cases in India is expected to rise in the coming years. Thus, Dr A Rajakumar, Consultant, Pulmonology/Respiratory medicine, Apollo Clinic, Marathahalli, Bengaluru, shares that Indians need to understand how pneumonia can spread and what steps they need to take.

Types Of Pneumonia

There are different ways in which pneumonia spreads. Some of these include:

  1. Community-Acquired Pneumonia: It is defined as pneumonia that is acquired outside the hospital. It is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and fungi that spread among the community. Some symptoms include chills, rigour, fever, cough, dyspnea and chest pain.
  2. Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia: This infection occurs during a hospital stay. This type of pneumonia can be severe and fatal at times. This is because hospital patients are often very sick and cannot fight off germs. In hospitals, the type of germs present is usually found to be more dangerous and resistant to treatments. It often occurs in patients using the ventilator. Such pneumonia can also be spread by health workers, who could pass the germ from their hands, clothes and instruments from one person to another.

Patients At Risk And Measures To Take

  • Pneumonia often spreads among the elderly population as well as young children. Immune-compromised patients with diabetes, cancer, cardiac issues and chronic kidney diseases are also vulnerable to infection. Those addicted to smoking or drinking alcohol are also at high risk of contracting pneumonia.
  • Some common pneumonia symptoms include fever, cough, weight loss, loss of appetite and lethargy. Doctors usually conduct a chest X-Ray scan, CBC or sputum examination to determine if a patient has been infected. But there are several ways in which Indians can prevent themselves from being infected.
  • From October 2021, PCVs will be administered to infants across the country as part of the national immunization program. The vaccine is estimated to prevent the deaths of around 50,000 Indian children each year. Thus, it is essential to conduct regular vaccination for children and elderly compromised patients. Maintaining good oral hygiene and proper hand-washing habits is also necessary. Indians should also avoid taking any antibiotics without a doctor’s opinion. One should also conduct pulmonary function tests regularly.

Conclusion

Pneumonia is a severe concern that Indians need to consider shortly. The disease has been wreaking havoc in our lives much before the pandemic. But in a post-COVID era, its impact on our daily lives will be felt sooner than later. We need to be prepared and bring an end to this problem very soon. The government is taking the proper steps in this direction. We as citizens should also step up our fight against pneumonia now.

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