Have you ever wondered what are the deadliest diseases in children? And how they are increasing the fatality rate in them? You must spare your 3 minutes to know about this!
According to W.H.O., Pneumonia is ranked as the topmost infectious disease that causes deaths in children all over the world.
“Pneumonia killed 808 694 children under the age of 5 in 2017, accounting for 15% of all deaths of children under five years old.”
What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a lung infection which happens in a result of bacteria, viruses, or sometimes fungi.
- Streptococcus pneumoniae – the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children
- Hemophilus influenzae type b – the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia
- The respiratory syncytial virus is the most common viral cause of pneumonia
- Inhaling allergens like food particles, chemicals, dust and fungi cause a less common type of pneumonia
What are the symptoms of Pneumonia?
All types of pneumonia have some common symptoms that are;
- Loss of appetite
- Congestion in chest
- Chest and stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty in breathing
In case someone is suffering from bacterial pneumonia, these symptoms may occur:
- Productive cough
- Pain in the Chest
In viral pneumonia, early symptoms are the same as bacterial pneumonia. But the cough may worsen, and wheezing may occur. Sometimes bacterial pneumonia superinfection occurs after viral pneumonia.
This Is How Pneumonia Can Be Transmitted
The virus and bacteria of pneumonia are commonly found in the child’s nose and throat, and they cause the infection when they are pushed into the lungs. Moreover, The droplets from cough and sneezing cause the spread of this disease. However, sometimes it also spreads through blood, during, or after the delivery.
How Can We Diagnose Pneumonia?
Doctors can diagnose pneumonia with the following steps;
- Listen to the child’s chest
- Check the temperature
- Check for fast breathing or low oxygen saturation
- Suggest X-ray of the chest
Above all, Early diagnosis is always better to treat any disease. As mentioned above, pneumonia is a life-threatening disease. So, if your child is facing any above-mentioned symptoms, you can consult the best Pediatrician in Lahore through Marham for your child’s health issue.
How is pneumonia treated?
Antibiotic is the best treatment used for Pneumonia. Doctors usually do a sputum culture test to identify the causative agent. Medications then are decided according to the results, antibiotics are prescribed. For instance, oral antibiotics are given to children. But sometimes antibiotics are also given through the intravenous route.
Doctors prefer not to give any specific medicines given in viral pneumonia and only treat the patient according to their symptoms. The nebulizing, increased fluid intake, medicines for cough and fever are supportive treatments in this condition.
How pneumonia can be prevented?
To decrease the mortality rate in children, prevention of pneumonia is the most important step. W.H.O has given the immunization schedule having vaccines for Hib, pneumococcus, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis). And this is the only way to prevent pneumonia in children.
Similarly, exclusive breastfeeding for first 6 months of life, improving the child’s immune system, and adequate nutrition to make the child’s defense system strong are the key preventive measures that should be followed. If the child has any illness like cough and congestion, it should be treated properly and on time. So that chances of superinfection like pneumonia can be avoided.
According to the Global action plan for pneumonia and diarrhea (GAPPD) by W.H.O and U.N.I.C.E.F, three steps are important to control pneumonia and mortality rate in children. They are;
- Protect: Firstly, we can protect children from this lethal disease by enhancing their immunity with exclusive breast-feeding and proper nutrition
- Prevent: Secondly, handwashing with soap should be made a common practice
- Treat: Most importantly, it is important to have the best health care facilities like medicines and diagnosis techniques for the treatment
In conclusion, to side with W.H.O., Pakistan’s health-care system is providing its best services to combat pneumonia and prevent its spread. Therefore, this is the only way to control the child mortality rate in the world.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, it is not advisable to visit the doctor or hospital unless the situation is out of control. However, you can consult your doctors while staying at home. Moreover, For your child’s health, you can consult the pediatrician online through Marham. Stay home, Stay safe!