Know the Symptoms of Pneumonia and How to Prevent it

CANTIKA.COM, JakartaPneumonia is one of the most common infectious causes of death in adults and children. Data shows that this disease claimed the lives of around 2.5 million people in the world in 2019 and as many as 672,000 of them were children.

Increasing pneumonia prevention efforts is thought to prevent nearly nine million child deaths from pneumonia and other major diseases by 2030.

Pneumonia can be caused by various kinds of germs such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. According to research, several types of germs such as Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza, and respiratory viruses such as viruses that cause colds, flu, and COVID-19 are commonly found in adults or elderly people aged 65 years and over with pneumonia.

Pulmonary specialist at the University of Indonesia Hospital (RSUI), dr. Rania Imaniar, Sp.P explained, pneumonia attacked the lungs and can be experienced by anyone from children to adults.

There are several conditions that can increase a person’s risk of developing this disease, namely those with a history of previous diseases such as chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, to heart failure.

Then, people with conditions that increase the risk of aspiration of mucus from the mouth and nose, those with diseases that weaken the immune system and patients who have had a splenectomy or removal of the spleen.

“Not only this, poor oral and dental hygiene, close contact with certain animals such as pigeons (also a risk factor for pneumonia),” said Rania through a press release at the RSUI, quoted on Saturday, January 22, 2022.

Other risk factors include using tobacco products, especially products that are smoked, traveling to certain areas, and being over 65 years of age.

Signs of pneumonia can affect other organs throughout the body or only be felt in one organ. The symptoms that arise include headaches, palpitations, nausea or vomiting, skin that changes color to blue, can reduce appetite, and affect mood.

To diagnose pneumonia, the doctor can examine the signs and symptoms that appear, ask the patient to perform a physical examination such as a chest X-ray, CT scan, sputum conditions, blood tests, pleural fluid examination, and bronchoscopy.

Treatment for pneumonia patients can be seen from the cause and the presence or absence of comorbidities in these patients. Once this is known, it can be determined how appropriate treatment.

There are several treatments that are usually carried out by pneumonia patients, namely through the administration of: drug (antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals), oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation, and pleural puncture.

For patients undergoing outpatient treatment or taking care from home, there are several things that can be done, including getting plenty of rest, eating nutritious foods, drinking enough, learning to cough properly, not drinking alcohol and consuming tobacco. If there is a sore throat, gargle with salt water 3-4 times a day. Do not take medication without a doctor’s prescription.

Precautions

Pneumonia can be prevented. Rania said that the efforts that can be done include avoiding risk factors, conducting regular dental check-ups, maintaining cleanliness, and washing hands with soap and water.

Lifestyle improvements such as not smoking, getting optimal nutritional intake are also prevention efforts that cannot be ignored.

In addition, Rania also recommends people aged over 65 years and ages 19-65 years who are receiving cancer therapy, chronic lung disease, or other conditions that can weaken the immune system, to get the pneumonia vaccine.

Regarding vaccination, the specialist in internal medicine at the University of Indonesia Hospital, Dr. dr. Alvina Widhani, Sp.PD-KAI said that vaccination can help increase immunity by forming antibody so that the body has the readiness to ward off bacteria or viruses that will enter the body.

According to Alvina, there are a number of things that need to be considered before vaccinating for pneumonia, namely the indications for the vaccine for those aged over 50 years and a history of allergies and acute symptoms that must also be considered.

This is because the immune factor is very influential on whether a person can contract pneumonia or not.

Pneumonia can be invasive and non-invasive, the immune system can change from non-invasive to invasive. Therefore, this pneumonia vaccination is an important thing to do for the elderly, where their immune system will be lower.

The pneumonia vaccine is one of the preventive measures highly recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC, this vaccine can be given to infants, children, adults, and the elderly. In adults aged 65 years and over, the pneumonia vaccine is 50-85 percent effective in protecting individuals from pneumonia.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the pneumonia vaccine can also be given at the same time as a third or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) as quoted by Reuters, said, based on the results of the final stage study, the COVID-19 vaccine later produces a strong safety and immune response in people aged 65 years and over.

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