As Nigerians join the rest of the global community to mark the 2020 World Pneumonia Day, which is observed on 12 November of each year, the World Health Organisation ,WHO, has issued warning signs of this respiratory infection you should know.
According to WHO, this day was first established in 2009 to raise awareness about this condition.
“Although the symptoms of pneumonia can be easily mistaken with cold and flu. The symptoms may also vary according to the severity of the infection and the type of germ that has affected the individual. Symptoms are usually similar to cold and flu but can persist for longer,” WHO says.
According to the apex health institution, pneumonia is a respiratory infection which affects babies under the age of two year or in old age. It is a severe infection which is accountable for a significant number of deaths in children each year.
“Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs of a person. In this condition, the air sacs in one or both the lungs get inflamed. These may be filled with fluids or pus. This lung infection can range from mild to severe. Children under the age of 2 years and adults above the age of 65 years are at a higher risk of this condition.
“Some common symptoms of pneumonia are- high fever with chills or sweating, coughing with the presence of mucus, difficulty in breathing while performing day to day activities, pain in chest which may worsen while coughing, loss of appetite, racing heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and fatigue. This lung infection leads to high fever, cough, chills and much more,” the agency stated.
It further added that pneumonia is the world’s leading infectious killer of children under the age of 5. It accounts for 15 per cent of all deaths of children under 5 years old.
WHO noted pneumonia and flu may show similar symptoms, and this means inffected persons can show difficulty in breathing.
It also averred that symptoms of flu may not be as severe as those of pneumonia. In pneumonia, the patient suffers from high fever which is not in the case of flu. The symptoms of pneumonia also last longer than flu and usually worsen with time.
The WHO and UNICEF integrated Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) aims to accelerate pneumonia control with a combination of interventions to protect, prevent, and treat pneumonia in children.