News Karnataka
Sunday, December 04 2022

Pneumonia is largely preventable through vaccines, says expert

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Manipal: Manipal McGill Center for Infectious Diseases (MACID), (a centre established by Manipal University in association with Mc Gill University Montreal, Canada), Kasturba Hospital Manipal, Manipal College of Nursing and Manipal School of Nursing will observe World Pneumonia Day on November 12 in Manipal.

On November 15, as part of the Pneumonia Day activities, lectures and deliberations by a panel of experts on prevention of pneumonia along with instructive displays for patients, informative skit, and a poster competition on the theme “Stop Pneumonia: Invest in Child Health” are being organised.

MACID of Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, in addition to conducting research and training in priority areas of infectious diseases, undertakes public awareness programmes related to infections through various initiatives.

“Two pneumococcal vaccines given at an interval of one year, could protect against 90% of strains producing streptococcal pneumonia in adults,” said Dr Kavitha Saravu, Joint Coordinator of MACID. She added that there were other vaccines too that help prevent infection by some of the bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia such as Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), Influenza (flu), Measles, Pertussis (whooping cough),and Varicella (chickenpox).

“Doctors can help individuals in making an informed decision about these vaccines, their risk of getting ill with pneumonia and the potential benefit of vaccination,” Dr Kavitha said. The world over, pneumonia kills nearly 1 million children under 5 years of age and a child dies from the infection every 20 seconds. She also said that the fatality from pneumonia surpasses the number of deaths from any other infectious disease, such as HIV infection, malaria, or tuberculosis. She also added that pneumonia in India accounts for 1/5th of the deaths worldwide caused by pneumonia and warned that it is a serious public health issue globally and more so in developing countries.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages. Certain people can become more ill with pneumonia, like adults 65 years or older; children younger than 5 years old; people who have underlying medical conditions (like asthma, diabetes or heart disease, kidney and lung disease); and people who smoke cigarettes. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi and is often contracted by breathing air carrying these germs.

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