November 12, is celebrated the World Day to Combat Pneumonia, a disease so dangerous that it is currently considered the main cause of death of children under 5 years of age worldwide. According to a statement made by UNICEF in partnership with five other global health organizations, a child under 5 years of age dies every 39 seconds from pneumonia, says the child specialist in Noida.
Pneumonia is no joke! Today I will focus on children and talk about the transmission of this disease, its main symptoms, better ways of prevention and the relationship between the flu and the onset of pneumonia in childhood. Keep reading, moms and dads!
Pneumonia is a serious infection located in the lung and, in most cases, is caused by viruses or bacteria, but it can also be caused by fungi, causing some characteristic symptoms that are often mistaken for symptoms of a common flu, impairing treatment disease, explains the pediatrician doctor in Noida.
These symptoms include:
- Constant cough;
- Fever above 38° C;
- Lack of appetite;
- Increased respiratory rate;
- Apathy and tiredness;
- Breathing problems and wheezing when inhaling.
Although these are the most frequent symptoms, there is the so-called “silent pneumonia” caused, usually, as a result of an aggravation of another respiratory problem. In this case, it may be more difficult to clearly identify the signs and symptoms, so medical evaluation is essential for the correct diagnosis to be made. When noticing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is also recommended to consult a pediatrician in Noida so that the little one is evaluated.
How is pneumonia transmitted?
The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (or pneumococcus) is the agent responsible for 60% of pneumonia cases. This bacterium can easily be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, saliva or through contact with contaminated objects from people who are sick or have the bacteria present in the body, even if it does not show symptoms. Even children up to two years old and infants are more likely to contract this disease because their immune system is not fully formed.
Precisely because this transmission is so easy, especially in schools where children have the habit of putting their hands on everything and toys in contact with their mouths, the most efficient form of prevention is vaccination, suggests the paediatrician doctor in Noida.
The vaccine is available in the public and private network, being divided into doses for reinforcement. In the public network, the vaccine is Pneumococcal 10 valiant, and the small ones are vaccinated in 3 doses: at 2 months, at 4 months and booster at 12 months. In the private network, the vaccine is called Pneumococcal 13, and has the 13 most prevalent serotypes in pneumococcal diseases (can be applied to babies over 2 months of age, children, adolescents and adults).
In addition to vaccination, other forms of prevention for children are: washing your hands regularly, ensuring healthy nutrition, not sharing bottles, glasses and kitchen utensils and drinking plenty of water throughout the day, suggests the paediatrician in Noida.
Is it possible for the flu to become pneumonia?
Children with the flu are more vulnerable, with less defense capacity in their body, which is a great opportunity for bacteria to take advantage of the situation and cause the famous bacterial pneumonia. This is because, when the child has an infection (either in the throat or in the ear, for example), he may end up inhaling the particles infected with pus and bacteria that end up in the lungs, warns the child specialist doctor in Noida.
But dads and moms, be careful not to despair and confuse a strong flu with pneumonia! It is clear that in both cases it is necessary to pay attention to the health of the child, since both diseases can be serious, but it is important to differentiate them. Pay attention to the symptoms: in pneumonia, the fever is usually longer, the tiredness is greater and the tiredness is accompanied by shortness of breath and pain.