World Pneumonia Day | American Lung Association

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World Pneumonia Day

(November 12, 2014)

Pneumonia can be prevented and cured. On November 12, we commemorate World Pneumonia Day. Pneumonia is a leading cause of death and takes a huge toll each year. Older adults, children and people with chronic disease, including COPD and asthma, are at high risk for pneumonia. Now is the time to get your influenza vaccine and ask your healthcare provider about the pneumonia vaccine. These effective vaccines reduce the risk but as many as 40 percent of adults are not current on vaccinations that can protect their health and prevent serious illnesses.

What Is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a serious lung disease that kills thousands every year and hospitalizes many more. It is often spread via coughing, sneezing, or even breathing, and those who don't exhibit symptoms can also spread the virus or bacteria. Risk of death among those who contract pneumonia is greatest among infants and older adults. Common symptoms of pneumonia include fever, chills, productive (mucus) cough that persists or gets worse, difficulty in breathing and chest pain.

What Is Influenza?

Influenza, or flu, is a serious respiratory illness that impacts people of all ages. It is a highly contagious virus that is usually spread through coughing or sneezing. Symptoms can impact the entire body and may include sudden onset of high fever, headache, muscle aches, a dry cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion.

Vaccinations

Vaccines are simple and effective at helping to prevent certain disease. It is not too late to get your annual influenza vaccine and now is the time to ask your healthcare provider if you need the pneumonia vaccine.

Maintaining good hygiene—including regular hand washing—is also important in helping to prevent pneumonia, influenza and other illnesses.

See 5 Facts You Should Know about Pneumonia »

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