World Pneumonia Day is observed every year on November 12. This day is set aside to spread awareness about pneumonia and make people understand the need to stand together and combat the disease. It is considered among the world’s biggest infectious killers of children and adults, with an average mortality rate higher than the combined rate of AIDS, measles, and malaria.
Since this disease is caused due to lack of oxygen in the lungs, it has made people realize how vital the celebration of World Pneumonia Day is and made lung health a priority worldwide. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in the death rate due to lung diseases, observing the day has become more crucial.
Since World Pneumonia Day 2021 is around the corner, we have curated this article. This article will make you learn more about pneumonia, its causes, prevention, treatment, and ways to observe the awareness day. Keep reading and expand your knowledge to contribute and help the world in fighting against pneumonia.
We all have a role to play in bringing an end to this deadly infectious disease. So, read on and save lives this World Pneumonia Day 2021.
World Pneumonia Day 2021: Understand The Disease
Pneumonia is a lower respiratory tract infection that affects the airways of one or both lungs. This infection is usually caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi and becomes even more severe when influenza or SARS-CoV-2 spreads into the lungs. It is potentially a severe infection, which after a given point, causes inflammation and the accumulation of pus and/or fluids in the air sacs. When air sacs get filled, a person experiences fever, chills, and breathing problems.
This disease manifests as a mild to severe illness, from general flu-like symptoms to sepsis to respiratory failure to death. However, the range of it depends on multiple factors like age, general health condition, etc.
Common Symptoms Of Pneumonia
Talking about the symptoms, the majority of times, they are mistakenly considered as general flu symptoms. Although they are quite similar, the symptoms of pneumonia persist longer. Some common signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:
- High fever with shaking, chills, or sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Cough producing phlegm
- Changes in mental awareness
- Fatigue and headache
- Body temperature lower than normal
- Chest pain while coughing
Note: Most of these signs and symptoms are not prominent in newborns or infants. They might just vomit or have a cold or fever.
Several different infectious agents cause pneumonia. They might include viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Here are some of the common agents that cause this deadly infection:
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Legionella pneumophila
- Influenza (flu)
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
- Rhinoviruses (common cold)
- Pneumocystis jirovecii
- Cryptococcus species
- Histoplasmosis species
Risk Factors Associated With Pneumonia
While most healthy individuals can battle the virus with their natural defenses, some with weaker immune systems are more likely to develop pneumonia. Although anyone can get affected by the disease, certain groups of people are at a higher risk. Such individuals include:
- Newborns or infants (of age two years or younger)
- Elder citizens (of age 65 years or older)
- People with weakened immune systems
- Those suffering from chronic medical conditions
- People who smoke, drink, or take drugs
- One who has been exposed to lung irritants
- Person who recently had a stroke or swallowing problem
Prevention or Treatment of Pneumonia
Pneumonia can affect people of all ages; however, by taking some preventive measures, one can reduce the risk of being diagnosed with the disease. Here are some of the ways that will help in prevention.
- Getting vaccination
- Quit smoking
- Practicing good hygiene
- Getting enough sleep or rest
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Having a healthy diet
- Keeping the immune system strong
- Using a tissue while coughing or sneezing
- Doing exercise regularly
World Pneumonia Day History
The history of World Pneumonia Day dates back to 2009. On November 12, 2009, the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia first observed the awareness day. The goal of the celebration was to raise public awareness about the severity of pneumonia and work together to bring the attention of everyone worldwide to this issue. During that time, this disease was killing approximately 2.5 million children and adults each year. Hence, the motto behind the first celebration was “Healthy Lungs for All.” Since that day, every year, November 12 has served as an annual platform for the world to unite in the fight against illness.
Significance of World Pneumonia Day 2021 Celebration
- Pneumonia Is A Serious Illness Worldwide
It starts as mild flu and quickly develops into a threatening disease. In the United States, pneumonia affects about 1 million individuals every year, with over 400,000 hospitalizations and more than 20,000 deaths. Despite this rate, not everyone is aware of the disease, and hence, they can’t get the proper treatment at the right time.
- Majority Of The Population Is Unaware Of Its Treatment
Due to being ignorant about the seriousness of the disease, it impacts a vast population. Even though millions of people get diagnosed with pneumonia annually, there is a lack of awareness. To get the disease treated on time, it is essential to have a basic knowledge of its causes, symptoms, and more. This is why it is recommended to observe World Pneumonia Day 2021 and spread the word about it.
- It Can Strike Quickly Even Without A Warning
Symptoms of pneumonia are pretty similar to the ones that are seen in regular flu. Although the symptoms vary with age, cause of the disease, type of infection, body strength, and more, most sufferers experience fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, etc. In some cases, even these symptoms are not visible. From mild symptoms, the infection quickly turns into a deadly disease. Hence, it becomes vital for making people learn about the symptoms this World Pneumonia Day 2021.
- Pneumonia Affects The Future Generations
Infants or newborns are at significant risk of getting diagnosed with pneumonia. Hence this disease can affect the upcoming generations. Since the world’s future is in the hands of little ones, this World Pneumonia Day 2021, we should make an effort to save our children and offer them an environment to grow up healthy and disease-free. Every effort that we make today will pave the way for treatment in the future.
Ways To Celebrate World Pneumonia Day 2021
Now that you have learned about the disease, its causes, symptoms, and more, it’s time to look at some ways by which an individual can contribute to World Pneumonia Day 2021. There are ample ways by which you can celebrate; we have stated one of the prominent ones. Take a look and show your contribution. Trust us; together, we can end preventable deaths from pneumonia.
- Talk about pneumonia and make people learn about it.
- Join health bodies or medical organizations
- Participate in awareness campaigns or drives
- Make donations for those who can’t afford the treatment
- Take your loved ones for a checkup if they encounter any symptoms
- Create a fundraiser to help the needy people
- Post images, blogs, or posters on social media platforms
- Host or participate in pneumonia webinars
- Design strategies to reach “harder-to-reach” populations
- Conduct or support researches to reduce the burden of pneumonia
Since respiratory illnesses are so prominent now, the celebration of World Pneumonia Day 2021 has become even more pivotal. This year, take a pledge to learn about the disease and come forward to fight against it.
From the Web