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Inicio > Pneumonia can be prevented

Pneumonia can be prevented

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Worldwide, pneumonia causes more deaths than any other infectious disease. However, in some cases it can be prevented with vaccines and can be treated with antibiotics or antiviral medicines.

Pneumonia is a lung infection, usually caused by bacteria or viruses. Every 20 seconds, somewhere in the world, a child dies from pneumonia. Many of these deaths can be prevented through vaccination and appropriate treatment.

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a lung infection that can cause mild or severe illness in people of all ages. Symptoms of pneumonia include: cough, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing or shortness of breath, chills or chest pain. Some people are more likely to get pneumonia. This includes adults 65 years of age or older and children under 5, especially children under 1 year of age.

Children or anyone with an underlying condition (such as diabetes or HIV / AIDS, or asthma) are at increased risk for pneumonia.

Causes of pneumonia

When a bacterium, viruses that are lodged in your nose, mouth, nasal sinuses or in the environment are spread to the lungs, pneumonia or other infections can be contracted.

The contagion can be with the bacteria or the virus of infected people; Whether they are ill or not.

Make sure your child has a complete immunization record from your pediatrician and encourages friends and loved ones with certain conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, to get a flu shot and bacterial pneumonia.

Types of pneumonia

You may have heard about community-acquired pneumonia (NAC). When a person who has not recently been in a hospital or other health care facility develops pneumonia, it is called contracted pneumonia in the community.

There is talk of health care-associated pneumonia when someone is infected during or after a stay in a health care facility (such as a hospital, long-term care facility, or dialysis center). These infections are called pneumonia associated with health care, including: associated pneumonia in health services, hospital-acquired pneumonia, or ventilator-associated pneumonia.

In our country and in many other areas of the world, the most common bacterial cause of pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and the most common viral causes are influenza (influenza), parainfluenza and respiratory syncytial virus.

In children younger than 1 year, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and viral pneumonia.

Other common causes of bacterial or viral pneumonia include Staphylococcus aureus and adenovirus. Pneumocystis jirovecii, a fungus is a common cause of pneumonia in AIDS patients.

Do you have to do studies to get to the diagnosis?

  • Chest x-ray may be necessary because it indicates the location and severity of the infection. It is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Microbiological analyzes of sputum (mucus or secretions) are not necessary in patients receiving treatment at home.
  • Blood tests are of limited value in diagnosing pneumonia.

What treatment should be received?

General measures

  • Abundant liquids per mouth
  • Maintain breastfeeding
  • Fraction feed if agitated
  • Keep the nostrils permeable by cleaning the secretions with sterile gauze.
  • Control of fever with conventional methods (paracetamol, ibuprofen) warm baths, cold cloths
  • Sleeping in semi-detached position
  • Cough syrups are not effective or recommended in the treatment of pneumonia

Specific treatment

  • Antibiotics when indicated by your pediatrician
  • Respect schedules, doses of shots and the number of days indicated
  • Never give them in preventive form to other members of the family

When are the pneumonias entered?

  • If the disease worsens or there is intolerance to antibiotics
  • If they are young children (younger than three months) or with risk factors
  • If you can not feed or sleep
  • If it is necessary to supply oxygen
  • If you take breaks for breathing (apneas)

Are there children at greater risk?

  • Children born premature or underweight
  • Children not breastfed
  • Children living in polluted environments (especially cigarette smoke) or in overcrowded conditions.

Reduce risk

Pneumonia can be prevented with vaccines. Adopting good hygiene practices can also prevent respiratory infections. This includes: Handwashing frequently, cleaning frequently touched hard surfaces (eg doorknobs) and coughing or sneezing by covering your mouth with a tissue, elbow or a sleeve. In addition, it can reduce the risk of getting pneumonia by limiting exposure to cigarette smoke and by treating and preventing diseases such as diabetes and HIV / AIDS.

  • There are several vaccines that can prevent infection by bacteria or viruses that can cause pneumonia. These vaccines include:
  • Pneumococcal (included in national vaccination schedule)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (included in national vaccination schedule)
  • Pertussis (whooping cough or pertussis) (included in national vaccination schedule)
  • Influenza (influenza) vaccine (included in national immunization schedule for children aged 6 months to 2 years)
  • Measles (included in national vaccination schedule)

* Taken from the Argentine Society of Pediatrics.

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