Pneumonia is an infection that inflames air sacs in one or both lungs.
Pneumonia can be caused by a wide range of bacteria and viruses, including flu viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Although the disease does not get a lot of attention from the public, it can strongly harm one’s lung health.
In fact, it (together with other flu-related deaths) is the eighth most common cause of death in the U.S.
Michael Bachman, M.D., Ph.D., and Laraine Washer, M.D., two experts from Michigan Medicine, provide some key information to help people prevent the disease.
They suggest people do these 6 things to protect against the disease:
Get vaccination. Vaccines can prevent many of the infections that can lead to pneumonia. Although they’re not a guarantee, they can be the best defense.
Wash your hands and cover your cough.
Get flu shot every year. It reduces the risk of the flu, which can lead to pneumonia.
For people over 65, it is important to get pneumonia shots.
Make sure your baby or toddler gets all vaccines on schedule.
If you have other health issues, talk to your doctor. This includes people of any age who have asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, or who are getting immune-compromising treatments, such as chemotherapy.
Don’t smoke. Smoking greatly increases the chance of developing pneumonia.
Common symptoms of pneumonia may include fever, chills, and cough. But the symptoms can mean many different diseases.
It is important to visit your doctor to find out if it is pneumonia, what the cause is, and the best treatment for you.
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