Last week, Centra Care locations saw a 125% increase in pediatric cases of pneumonia.
Pneumonia refers to an infection of the lungs, which can be caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites.
Most pediatric pneumonia cases are caused by viruses, including the flu, RSV and parainfluenza virus (which causes croup).
Pneumonia often begins after an upper respiratory infection, with symptoms starting during the 2nd or 3rd day of a cold or sore throat.
Pneumonia can be easily diagnosed with a chest x-ray. While it is a relatively common infection of the lungs, it can be dangerous. 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.
Symptoms of Pneumonia include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Shallow & Fast Breathing
- Coughing (which may include mucus)
- Sweating & Chills
- Muscle Aches
- Loss of Appetite
The symptoms of pneumonia often mimic other illnesses like asthma and bronchitis, so people often wait before seeking medical care. This is a mistake, as developed pneumonia can cause severe symptoms and complications.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a pneumonia vaccine for all people age 65 and older.