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Pneumonia - Things You Should Know

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Published on Feb 10, 2016

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports it is the leading cause of death in children younger than 5 years of age worldwide. Globally, pneumonia kills nearly 1 million children in this age group each year.

Pneumonia isn't just a public health issue in developing countries, each year in the United States about 1 million people have to seek hospital care due to pneumonia and approximately 50,000 people die from the condition. Interestingly, most of the people affected by pneumonia in the United States are adults according to the CDC.

In the United States, common causes of viral pneumonia are influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and a common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). However, clinicians are not always able to determine which germ caused someone to get sick. Fortunately, many of these infections can often be prevented with vaccines and can usually be treated with antibiotics, antiviral drugs (such as Tamiflu) or specific drug therapies.

When someone develops pneumonia in the community (not in a hospital), it's called community-acquired pneumonia. Pneumonia developed during or following a stay in a healthcare facility (like hospitals, long-term care facilities, and dialysis centers) is called healthcare-associated pneumonia, which includes hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Common signs of pneumonia include cough, fever and difficulty breathing. Certain people are more likely to become ill with pneumonia, including:
• Adults 65 years or older
• Children younger than 5 years old
• People who have underlying medical conditions (like asthma, diabetes or heart disease)
• People who smoke cigarettes

We can all help prevent pneumonia by following good hygiene practices, such as washing hands regularly and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

These are just a few things to know about pneumonia and protecting your lungs. To learn more about indoor environmental and occupational issues that can impact your respiratory system at home or in the work environment, please visit the websites shown below.

Clark Seif Clark http://www.csceng.com
EMSL Analytical, Inc. http://www.emsl.com
LA Testing http://www.latesting.com
Zimmetry Environmental http://www.zimmetry.com
Healthy Indoors Magazine http://www.iaq.net
Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters http://HudsonDouglasPublicAdjusters.com

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