Pneumonia: infectious disease that causes more infant death

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children in developing countries, killing 1 million children each year. About half of these deaths could be prevented through low-cost measures such as promoting breastfeeding, measure children's breathing and making existing vaccines and antibiotics accessible to children with fewer resources.

Pneumonia is infection of part or all of the lung which usually begins with an infection of the upper respiratory tract such as a catarrhal (mainly viral), so it is frequent that several days pass until its diagnosis. They can be caused by various microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

In developed countries, it is rarely a problem. Its usual treatment is to provide the child with good environmental humidity, the intake of abundant fluids and rest and control of fever. In only a few cases, pneumonia (especially bacterial) can cause a severe shortness of breath that may require the child's admission to hospital and the administration of intravenous antibiotics.

The prevention in the contagion of the viruses that infect the upper respiratory tract, initiators of some pneumonia, through basic hygiene habits, as well as the correct medical treatment of the affections and the administration of vaccines They are important for preventing virus and bacterial infections that can cause some types of pneumonia.

Currently, there are effective and safe vaccines to provide protection against the main causes of pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal pneumonia) and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

Another measure against pneumonia in developing countries is measure child's breathing. According UNICEF, an adult breathes about twelve times a minute, while a child with pneumonia can breathe up to more than sixty times. Informing and learning how to detect pneumonia is essential to save thousands of children around the world.

Patro Gabaldon. Editor of our site

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Video: Infectious disease in children (January 2022).