WHO: Pneumonia kills over 2 million children under 5

Today is World Pneumonia Day. As part of this campaign, the World Health Organization (WHO) reiterates its warning that pneumonia should not be taken lightly.
Date Posted: Nov 12, 2015

MANILA -- Today is World Pneumonia Day. As part of this campaign, the World Health Organization (WHO) reiterates its warning that pneumonia should not be taken lightly.

In fact, WHO estimates that over 2 million children or 1 in 5 children under 5 years old are killed every year because of pneumonia worldwide.

Even 16% of deaths among children under 5 years old are caused by pneumonia in the Philippines.

This disease is contagious, and is caused by different kinds of viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Sars, MERS-CoV, streptococcus pneumoniae, mycoplasma pneumoniae, and staphylococcal pneumoniae are just some of the bacteria involved in contracting pneumonia.

It can also spread when someone inhales or comes in contact with the respiratory droplets from the mouth or nose of a pneumonia patient.

According to infectious disease expert Dr. Rey Salinel, pneumonia is a deadly lung infection affecting children and adults, which causes difficulty in breathing and fever, among others.

“It’s everywhere. Hindi mo alam, katabi mo sa jeep, sa FX, sa taxi, sa LRT, sa MRT. Kasama mo sa opisina, carrier pala. Even sa loob ng bahay," Salinel said.

However, this can be avoided despite the pervasive presence of bacteria everywhere.

Besides taking care of our health, having enough sleep and proper nutrition, a person must observe proper body hygiene.

As Salinel said, “Napakalaki talaga ng nagagawa ng malinis na kamay para mabawasan natin mag-multiply itong mga impeksyon na ito."

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