World Pneumonia Day will be released on November 12th. Health experts describe the condition as an infection that affects the respiratory tract in one or both lungs. The air bags can be filled with liquid or powder, purulent material that causes coughing with mucus, fever, chills and breathing difficulties. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia.
The conditions can range from mild to life threatening, unless properly treated. It is most serious in infants and toddlers, people over the age of 65 and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.
However, health experts have stated that with good hygiene, quitting smoking and keeping the immune system strong, exercising and eating healthy, pneumonia can be prevented. They also recommend regular medical examinations, as well as presenting the condition early.
Former President, Association of Resident Doctors at Lagos University Education Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Olubunmi Omojowolo, said signs and symptoms of pneumonia varies from mild to severe due to such factors as the type of bacterium that causes infection, age and overall health.
He said: "Mild signs and symptoms are often as cold as flu, but they last longer. Many bacteria can cause pneumonia, but the most common are bacteria and viruses in the air as we breathe. The body usually prevents these bacteria from infecting the lungs, but sometimes can these bacteria bridge the immune system, even if the individual's health is generally good.
"Pneumonia is classified according to the types of bacteria that cause it and where you received the infection, which includes acquired acquired pneumonia, hospitalized pneumonia and health-acquired pneumonia, among others.
"The acquired pneumonia of the community is the most common type of pneumonia. It occurs outside hospitals or other healthcare facilities, and can be caused, among other things, by bacteria, fungi and viruses.
"The most common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus Pneumoniae. This type of pneumonia may occur on your own or after you have had cold or flu. It may affect some of the lungs, a condition called lobar pneumonia.
"Mushroom infection is most common in people with chronic health problems or weakened immune systems, and in people who have inhaled large doses of the organisms. The fungi that cause it can be found in soil or bird loss and vary according to geographical location.
"Viral pneumonia is the most common cause in children younger than five years. Viral pneumonia is usually mild, but in some cases it can be very serious."
Omojowolo said that disease-induced pneumonia occurs when patients under a hospital stop for another disease. Health-acquired pneumonia can be serious because the bacteria that cause it can be resistant to antibiotics and because the people who get it are already sick.
He said, "People who are on breathing apparatus, which are often used in intensive care, have a greater risk of this type of pneumonia.
"Health-induced pneumonia is a bacterial infection that occurs in people who live in long-term care or who receive care in outpatient clinics, including renal dialysis centers. Like disease-induced pneumonia, bacteria resistant to antibiotics can cause worsening of pneumonia.
"Aspiration pneumonia occurs when the patient inhales food, drinking, vomiting or saliva in the lungs. It is more likely if something interferes with the patient's normal gag reflexes, such as brain injury or swallowing problems, or excessive use of alcohol or drugs."
Omojowolo recommended that people should visit hospitals and meet with doctors to prevent pneumonia.
He said, "For example, vaccines are available to prevent certain types of pneumonia and flu. Talk to your doctor about getting these shots. The vaccination guidelines have changed over time so be sure to read your vaccination status with your doctor, even if You remember to get a pneumonia vaccine earlier.
"Parents should ensure that their children are vaccinated. Doctors recommend another pneumonia vaccine for children younger than two years and for children from two to five years, who have a particular risk of pneumococcal disease. Children participating in a childcare center should also receive a vaccine. Also recommend flu shot for children over six months. "