Pneumonia

What is it?

Pneumonia is a health condition whereby there is bacterial or viral infection in the lungs. The air sacs in one or both lungs is filled with fluid or pus. This leads to coughing with phlegm, fever, chills and difficulty in breathing. 

How do you get pneumonia?

Bacteria, viruses will spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct contact with respiratory secretions, such as saliva or mucus
  • touching surfaces contaminated with bacteria or virus particles then touching your nose or mouth.

Who are at risk?

  • Babies and young children
  • Adults aged 65 and older
  • People who have received an organ transplant
  • People with asthma or other lung conditions
  • People with diabetes or other chronic diseases
  • People with weak immune system
  • Smokers

What are the symptoms?

  • Chest pain when one breathes or coughs
  • Confusion or changes in mental awareness (only in adults age 65 and older)
  • Cough, which may produce phlegm
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Shortness of breath

When must you see a doctor?

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Persistent fever of 39 degree Celsius or higher
  • Persistent cough with phlegm or pus

How can pneumonia be prevented?

  • Get vaccinated
  • Practice good hygiene by washing hands regularly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Do not smoke. Smoking damages lungs’ natural defenses against respiratory infections
  • Keep immune system strong by getting enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet

Sources

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pneumonia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354204 https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/N_R/Pneumonia

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