Pneumonia: Prevent It, Don’t Get It

November 6, 2015 04:00 PM

Remember when your mother said: “Don’t go out without a jacket… do you want to catch pneumonia?" Whether you believed her or not, you knew you didn’t want that dangerous lung infection that causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill with pus. Symptoms include coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, and even chest pain. These days, most cases of bacterial pneumonia can be cured with antibiotics but some are tougher to fight due to bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to avoid catching pneumonia. Vaccines are available that are effective against many bacterial strains that cause pneumonia. Who should get immunized with the vaccines? That’s a question for your primary care provider, allergist, or pulmonologist, but adults over 65 and anyone with a compromised immune system is at risk for the disease. Smokers and those in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes are also at higher risk.

Almost one million Americans contract pneumonia every year. Don’t join that club. Speak with your primary care provider to see a pneumonia vaccine is right for you. And, don’t take any chances in the cold – wear your jacket.


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