Am I at risk of having Pneumonia?

Am I at risk of having Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an illness affecting lungs and may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a bacterial infection that can be spread from person to person through droplet infection and touch. The severity of desease depends on your age, overal health and the type of pneumonia you get.

Common symptoms include:

·         A cough with phlegm (reddish or yellow-green)

·         A high fever

·         Shaking chills

·         Sweating

·         Fatigue

·         Chest pain with difficulty breathing

Although the infection can affect anybody, the following groups of people are at higher risk:

·         Infants and children younger than 5 years of age (whose immune system is not developed yet)

·         Children having recently had the inflammation of the middle ear or having cochlear implant

·         People who are 65 or older

·         People with pulmonary and breathing conditions (such as asthma)

·         Those with chronic conditions (conditions of liver, kidneys, heart, diabetes, ..)

·         Individuals with weak immune system (having recently had the cold or influnza, or caused by conditions such as organ transplant, chemotherapy, lengthy use of steroids etc.)

·         People whose spleen is damaged or has been removed

·         People with bad lifestyle habits - Smoking


Best prevention against (some types of) pneumonia

·         Avoid contact with sick people

·         Wash your hands regularly and do not cough or sneeze into your hands

·         Visit your practitioner for regular check-upsGet vaccinated with a yearly flu shot and pneumonia vaccination; and get your family vaccinated (E.g. with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protecting against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria)

·         Keep up with healthy lifestyle -don´t smoke, sleep enough, exercise, …


Ask your practitioner or paediatrician about the type and timing of vaccine that would be suitable for you or for your children.

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