Pneumonia, a form of acute respiratory infection that affects lungs

Pneumonia, a form of acute respiratory infection that affects lungs


Kolkata, Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the
lungs.
The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when a healthy
person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and
fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.
Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide.
Pneumonia killed 920 136 children under the age of 5 in 2015, accounting for 16 per
cent of all deaths of children under five years old.
Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere, but is most prevalent in South
Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Children can be protected from pneumonia, it can be
prevented with simple interventions, and treated with low-cost, low-tech medication
and care.
Pneumonia is caused by a number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria
and fungi. The most common are: Streptococcus pneumoniae – the most common
cause of bacterial pneumonia in children; Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) – the
second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia; respiratory syncytial virus is the
most common viral cause of pneumonia and in infants infected with HIV, Pneumocystis
jiroveci is one of the most common causes of pneumonia, responsible for at least one
quarter of all pneumonia deaths in HIV-infected infants.
Pneumonia can be spread in a number of ways. The viruses and bacteria that are
commonly found in a child's nose or throat, can infect the lungs if they are inhaled.
They may also spread via air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze.
In addition, pneumonia may spread through blood, especially during and shortly after
birth. More research needs to be done on the different pathogens causing pneumonia
and the ways they are transmitted, as this is of critical importance for treatment and
prevention.

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