Pneumonia is a malady that affects billions of people across the globe every day. This disease is one the 10 top causes of death among adults when this malady is combined with flu. Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection of the lungs. This infection can affect just one section of your lungs and is known as lobal pneumonia or it can even affect sections in both the lungs, when it is known as multilobal pneumonia.
When you have pneumonia, the air sack inside your lungs slowly gets filled up with pus and also other liquids, thus reducing the pathway of oxygen, which finds trouble reaching the lungs. People who are at a higher risk with this illness are anyone who is over 65 years old. Also, people with suppressed immune system, with heart and lung disease, people suffering from alcoholism, kidney failure, HIV, diabetes are high risk patients of this disease. Children who are below 2 years of age are also at risk once they get infected with pneumonia.
Pneumonia can occur for a number of reasons. Unlike other most common diseases, which have a definite cause (strep throat is caused by streptococcus bacteria, flu is caused by influenza virus), this diseases can be caused by multiple factors like bacteria, fungus, viruses, mycoplasmas or even chemicals. Generally, infected with the flu virus and other respiratory maladies, gets infected with this disease. It’s like this, when any flu patient’s body gets weakened by the flu virus, bacteria invades the lungs and causes pneumonia. In certain cases the pneumonia germs get passed from one person to another, whereby his disease spreads through the air. This last stated cause of spreading this disease is most common with mycoplasma pneumonia. Once you don’t fall into the high risk group, very simple measures on your part can protect yourself from pneumonia. These protective measures are like washing your hands, getting your flu vaccine at the right time, avoiding people who are seriously ill and others.
Although, the flu vaccine doesn’t stop you from getting infected with pneumonia (as it’s only a protection against influenza), but then again, it also provides some protection from this disease, as pneumonia is often a medical complication which accompanies the flu. So if you can avoid flu, it’s natural you run a lesser risk of getting affected with this disease.
The pneumonia vaccine for children is PCV13 that is provided as a part of the recommended vaccine for all children who are under the age of two. This vaccine protects the children from 13 pneumococcal bacteria. There is also another vaccine PPSV23 available for children (beyond 2 years) and adults and is advised for people who have chronic medical issues, which puts them in a high risk zone, like all adults who are over the age of 65.