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What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a life threatening lung infection that affects people of all ages, especially the aged
and children which is often dangerous.

Who is affected?
Anyone can be affected but those at higher risk of developing pneumonia are;
1. Tobacco smokers.
2. People experiencing cold and influenza.
3. People with diabetes and asthma.
4. Inadequate zinc intake- with proper feeding.
5. Poor nutrition.
6. Overcrowding.
7. Poor shelter.
8. Lack of appropriate breastfeeding for the first six months of life.

What are the causes?

Bacteria, fungi and viruses live in the nose, mouth and sinuses and cause infections like
pneumonia. The organism that causes pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae Heamophilus

Other causes are;

1. Exposure to influenza or staphylococcus infections.

2. Human respiratory.
3. Infants with HIV.
What happens?

After these bacteria reach the lungs, they become inflamed and filled up with fluid. This causes
breathing difficulties which makes it difficult for oxygen to enter the bloodstream. The body
cells cannot function as they normally do and the infection cannot be flushed out of the body.
If not treated, it may spread out and lead to death.

What are the signs and symptoms?

1. Coughing- producing thick green brown or bloody mucus.
2. Fever- temperature higher than 38.3℃.
3. Fatigue- gets tired or weak easily.
4. Loss of appetite.
5. Nausea and vomiting.
6. Shortness of breath.
7. Headache.
8. Chest pain while breathing or coughing.
9. Convolutions, lethargy, feeding poorly- most occur in infants.
10. Fast heartbeat.

How can pneumonia be prevented?

1. Immunization against measles, whooping cough(pertussis), pneumococcal

conjugate(PCV), Heamophilus influenza type b (HIb), varicella (chicken pox).
2. Adequate nutrition improves children natural defence, starting with exclusive
breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Improving complementary feeding also
help prevent pneumonia.
3. Frequent washing of hands helps prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that may
cause pneumonia.
4. Addressing environmental factors such as indoor air pollution. This can be effected by
providing affordable clean indoor stoves for instance, and encouraging good hygiene
around crowded homes also reduces the number of children who will fall ill with
5. Avoid smoking and attraction with people with some infections that can lead to
6. Have adequate rest and exercise.

Complications of pneumonia

1. If pneumonia is left untreated, it can lead to the occurrence of the following;

2. Pneumonia can spread to other parts of the body.
3. Septicaemia, bacteria in the bloodstream which causes another infection.
4. Death.