Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs with symptoms that can mimic the flu. It is the leading cause of death from infection. The most common cases of pneumonia (known as “walking pneumonia”) can be treated with antibiotics at home, but depending on the severity, a person may need to be hospitalized.
Depending on age and overall health, symptoms may include coughing, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, chills, or chest pain.
It is treatable, but it can be dangerous, especially for those at high-risk for developing complications including:
- Young children
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease
- People 65 years and older
Practicing prevention can go a long way in keeping pneumonia (as well as other diseases) at bay. Be sure to:
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and keep your hands away from your face
- Regularly clean countertop surfaces which will help prevent the spread of pneumonia causing germs
- Stay away from people who have the flu, especially if you are at high-risk for developing flu-related complications, such as pneumonia
- Get both pneumonia and flu vaccines as they are an important way to help prevent pneumonia since the flu is a common cause, particularly if you are in the high-risk category