According to the American Lung Association, pneumonia can be prevented through following simple steps:
Vaccination: A flu shot every year to prevent seasonal influenza, a common cause of pneumonia, is an effective way of prevention. Children under the age of five and adults who are 65 and older must get vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia, which is very common form of bacterial pneumonia.
· Washing hands: Washing hands regularly is a must, especially after blowing one’s nose, going to bathroom, changing a diaper, or before eating or preparing meals.
· Stop smoking: Tobacco damages the lung’s ability to combat infections. Research confirms that smokers are at a higher risk of contracting pneumonia. Moreover, smokers are ranked as one of several high risk groups that need to get vaccinated.
- General health: Taking care of one’s overall health is important as pneumonia follows respiratory infections, so symptoms that last for more than a few days should be a sign of concern. Healthy habits such as having a healthy diet, getting adequate rest, and regular exercise.
- According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), pneumonia was the cause of 15% of all deaths of children under five in 2015 worldwide. This is an estimated 922 ,000 children, most of whom were less than two years old and about 2% of them were newborn.
- According to the UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), annual child deaths from pneumonia have decreased by 47 % from 2000 to 2015, falling from 1.7m to 922,000. Pneumonia is the primary cause of death among children who are under five-years-old. It causes the death of 2,500 children a day. UNICEF’s recent report released in December 2015 stated that only three in five children receive the needed care worldwide. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the situation is more acute, where most pneumonia deaths occur. Only two in five children with pneumonia symptoms receive primary care.
- According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the US nearly 90% of invasive pneumococcal disease cases occur in adults. There were about 3,700 deaths in the US from pneumococcal meningitis and bacteria in 2013.