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November 12 – World Pneumonia Day

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INTRODUCTION

Every year on November 12, the world observes this day as World Pneumonia Day to raise awareness and educate people about the need to fight pneumonia, the infectious disease that kills more adults and children worldwide than any other and accounts for the majority of deaths in children under the age of five. In addition, the day’s main goal is to promote worldwide action, particularly in low- and middle-income nations, to combat the toll that pneumonia and other respiratory infections cause.

Pneumonia is a type of inflammatory respiratory illness that is brought on by infections with bacteria, viruses, or fungi that damage the lungs’ “alveoli,” or air sacs. Breathing becomes difficult as a result of pus or fluid building up in the air sacs. It is a contagious illness that can be fatal for those with weakened immune systems, particularly young children and the elderly.

World Pneumonia Day History

2009 saw the first World Pneumonia Day, which was observed by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia. Their goals were to raise public awareness of the severity of pneumonia and to work together to draw attention to this often ignored illness on a global scale. “Stop Pneumonia” was the day’s overarching theme and has been since the inaugural World Pneumonia Day in 2009. The motto was expanded to include additional words related to running campaigns, such as providing adequate protection against the disease and facilitating treatment center accessibility for those afflicted.

In the very first year that World Pneumonia Day was observed, about 1.2 million children died from pneumonia. An Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea was introduced by WHO and UNICEF in 2013—four years after this day was first observed on a worldwide and international level. The first public-private partnership to assist governments in implementing the Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhea (G.A.P.P.D.) was created under the name “Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea” over the following four years in an attempt to establish as much control over the diseases as possible.

In addition, several other measures have been implemented at different levels to combat the assault of pneumonia, which continues to be the leading cause of infectious mortality among children and adults. 

World Pneumonia Day (WPD): Why It Matters?

It is possible to prevent and treat pneumonia, an infectious disease. The number of deaths from pneumonia and other respiratory infectious diseases has sharply increased in recent years, despite the availability of treatment. Over twenty lakh people died from pneumonia in 2019, and approximately seven lakh children under five also perished from the disease worldwide.

Furthermore, the unprecedented COVID outbreak has increased the number of respiratory infectious disease-related deaths to 6 lakh in 2021, making it one of the worst respiratory crises that puts a large number of people at risk of infection and death. 

World Pneumonia Day is very important because it encourages public and private organizations to work together to organize campaigns at local levels to spread vaccinations and preventive measures, as well as to combat the risk of respiratory infections and reduce the toll that results from a lack of awareness about these infections. It also unites the organization on one platform and creates the opportunity to make this preventable infectious disease accessible to all segments of society.

7 Phnuenomia Facts Everyone Needs to Know

There is not just one cause that is responsible for pneumonia. There are many factors involved. According to scientists and medical professionals, bacteria, fungi, or both at the same time can cause pneumonia. It can also be brought on by inhaling dust, breathing in food, or breathing in any tiny toxin in the air that can harm a person’s health.

  • Breastfeeding supports the defense against it. According to medical professionals, children who consumed their mother’s milk regularly had higher immunity, which increased their chances of fending off pneumonia and recovering from it even if they got sick.
  • Pneumonia can be prevented to a significant degree. To help prevent seasonal influenza, have a flu shot each year. Preventing the flu is a good way to lower your risk of pneumonia because it is a common cause of the disease. Furthermore, vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia is available to those who are at risk.
  • Pneumonia can affect anyone. Although some individuals are more susceptible than others, pneumonia can strike anyone. Fever, wheezing, coughing, chills, fast breathing, chest pains, loss of appetite, malaise, or an overall feeling of weakness or illness are some of the symptoms of pneumonia.
  • There are over thirty distinct causes of pneumonia. Pneumonia can be caused by a variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Understanding the etiology of pneumonia is crucial, as it influences the course of treatment.
  • It might be fatal. Pneumonia has the potential to be fatal and extremely serious. Respiratory failure, sepsis, and lung abscess are among the complications of pneumonia that older adults, children, those with compromised immune systems, and those with other medical conditions are more likely to experience.
  • Prevention is the key to fighting pneumonia. Hand washing, maintaining a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, working out frequently, and quitting smoking are all behaviors that can reduce your risk of contracting respiratory diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and other agents. Fast recovery is also encouraged by healthy behaviors.

How do I celebrate Pneumonia Day?

Let’s understand a few of the strategies by which we can raise awareness and celebrate this day.

  • Discuss pneumonia.

Tie a pearl ribbon around your shirt and tell people what it signifies to those who inquire. Discuss this illness with those in your social circle; you never know who might need assistance that you could offer. 

  • Take part in campaigns to raise awareness.

Participate in campaigns to raise awareness about the effects of this disease and the need for increased effort to prevent it by joining your local medical associations or health bodies.

  • Aid those suffering from pneumonia

Provide a pneumonia patient with an anonymous donation. Donate some cash to the hospital or clinic in your community that treats patients with the illness. Make other people understand and donate to save someone’s life.

What distinguishes bacterial pneumonia from viral pneumonia?

Even though a lung infection is the primary cause of all pneumonia, the exact symptoms you experience will vary based on whether the infection is caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungus.

Compared to viral pneumonia, bacterial pneumonia is typically more common and severe. A hospital stay is more likely to be necessary. Antibiotics are used by providers to treat bacterial pneumonia. Flu-like symptoms are brought on by viral pneumonia, which usually goes away on its own. For viral pneumonia, you typically don’t need special treatment.

How can I distinguish between pneumonia and the flu or a common cold?

Diagnosing pneumonia, the flu, and cold symptoms can be challenging, and only a medical professional can make this determination. Since pneumonia can be fatal, it’s critical to get medical help if you experience any of the following severe symptoms, which could indicate pneumonia:

  • Chest pain or congestion.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • A fever that reaches 38.88 degrees Celsius, or 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spitting or coughing up bloody, green, or yellow mucus

Who is most vulnerable to pneumonia?

A higher chance of pneumonia exists if you:

  • are either under the age of two or older than 65
  • are coping with a cardiac or lung ailment. Asthma, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, sarcoidosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are a few examples
  • possess neurological ailment that makes swallowing challenging. An increased risk of aspiration pneumonia is associated with conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke
  • are either in a long-term care facility or a hospital
  • are Pregnant
  • possess a compromised immune system. If you are receiving chemotherapy, have received an organ transplant, are HIV/AIDS positive, or are taking immune-suppressive drugs, you may have a compromised immune system

What symptoms and indicators are present with pneumonia?

World Pneumonia Day is celebrated on November 12.
World Pneumonia Day is celebrated on November 12.

Pneumonia symptoms vary depending on the cause. Mild to severe symptoms are possible. Different symptoms may be present in older adults, babies, and young children.

Bacterial pneumonia symptoms can appear gradually or suddenly. Symptoms consist of:

  • high fever, up to 40.55 C/105 F
  • Bloody cough, green, or yellow mucus
  • Exhaustion (fatigue)
  • breathing quickly
  • respiration difficulty
  • quick heartbeat
  • chills or sweats
  • abdominal or chest pain, particularly when coughing or breathing deeply
  • diminished appetite
  • lips, nails, or skin that is bluish (cyanosis)
  • confused or in a different state of mind

Acute viral pneumonia symptoms

Viral pneumonia symptoms typically appear over a few days. In addition to symptoms resembling bacterial pneumonia, you may also have:

  • cough without mucus
  • ache
  • sore muscles
  • extreme weakness or exhaustion

Early childhood pneumonia symptoms

Pneumonia in babies and newborns may not cause any symptoms at all or may cause symptoms that differ from those in adults, such as:

  • fever, chills, unease overall, and perspiration or flushed skin
  • cough
  • breathing difficulties or rapid breathing (tachypnea)
  • diminished appetite
  • snorting
  • lack of vigor
  • agitation or fussiness

Indications to watch out for in infants and young children include:

  • noisy breathing or a grunting sound made while breathing
  • reduced urine output or less damp diapers
  • Pale skin
  • Feebleness
  • More tears than usual
  • having trouble eating

Pneumonia symptoms in adults who are 65 and older

Pneumonia symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, can be mild or less noticeable in adults over 65 or people with compromised immune systems. Chronic illness symptoms could get worse. Elderly people might go through:

  • an abrupt shift in consciousness
  • Low appetite
  • Fatigue

Pneumonia: What causes it?

Your immune system attacking an infection in the alveoli, the tiny sacs that house your lungs, can result in pneumonia. Your lungs enlarge and begin to leak fluid as a result.

Pneumonia-causing infections can be caused by a wide range of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In adults, bacteria are the most common cause, whereas in children of school age, viruses are the most common cause. The following common illnesses can result in pneumonia:

  • Rhinovirus causes common colds
  • SARS-COVID-2, or COVID-19
  • The influenza virus, or flu
  • Metapneumovirus of humans (HMPV)
  • Parainfluenza virus in humans (HPIV)
  • Legionnaires’ illness
  • The bacteria Mycoplasma pneumonia
  • The pneumococcal illness
  • Pneumocystis infection
  • A virus called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

Does pneumonia spread easily?

It is true that the bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia are communicable, not the illness itself. For example, although pneumonia can develop from the flu and is communicable, the majority of flu patients do not develop pneumonia.

How soon will I start feeling better after receiving treatment for pneumonia?

Your speed of recovery is dependent upon:

  • How old are you?
  • What is causing your pneumonia?
  • How bad is your pneumonia?
  • Do you suffer from any additional illnesses or not?

Most bacterial pneumonia symptoms go better 24 to 48 hours after treatment starts, provided you’re in otherwise good health. After receiving treatment for viral pneumonia for a few days, you may begin to feel better. Some symptoms, like coughing and fatigue, may linger for several weeks.