Pneumonia an acute respiratory infection commonly caused by virus or bacteria is the single biggest infectious killer of adults and children claiming the lives of 2.5 million, including 6,72,000 children in 2019. The surge in Covid pneumonia cases in the recent times are expected to add significantly to the total number of deaths due to pneumonia.
World Pneumonia Day is observed every year on November 12 to raise awareness about the disease.
Overall, India accounts for 23 per cent of the pneumonia burden globally and case fatality rates range between 14 and 30 per cent.
“On World Pneumonia day we need to remember a few basics. Most pneumonia are severe infections of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses etc. spread commonly by air hence prevention of infection can be done by maintaining social distancing, practicing respiratory hygiene with cough and sneeze and wearing 3 ply mask in presence of others. Also those who are elderly and have comorbidities should take influenza vaccination yearly and pneumococcal vaccination every 5 years. The vaccines do not prevent infection but help the body fight it better. Also, it is most important to keep your lungs healthy by exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and avoiding active and passive smoking.” said Dr. Sushmita RoyChowdhury, Director of Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Anandapur, Kolkata