Pneumonia is a life-threatening infection in one or both lungs. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. According to WHO and UNICEF, pneumonia is the world's leading killer of children under the age of five. To bring people from all over the world to raise awareness about and to combat Pneumonia, the World Pneumonia Day is marked every year on 12 November. In this regard, let us get into a few recent researches done on the preventable and treatable disease pneumonia.
1. Flu, pneumonia increase heart attack risk
According to the research published in the European Respiratory Journal, flu and pneumonia can increase the risk of having a heart attack and stroke by six times. Researchers say that the findings suggest that getting vaccinated against these two infections could also have a role in preventing heart attack and stroke, along with preventing infection in the first place.
2. What is more dangerous to heart, bacterial pneumonia or viral pneumonia?
A recent study has found bacterial pneumonia to be far more dangerous to the heart than viral pneumonia. The Intermountain Medical Center research was presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2018.
In the study of nearly 5,000 patients, researchers found that patients diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia had a 60 per cent greater risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death than patients who had been diagnosed with viral pneumonia.
3. New vaccine to end pneumonia!
According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, an experimental new vaccine under development targets strains of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae that causes pneumonia. During the laboratory tests on animals, the vaccine showed an increased immune response to 72 forms of S.pneumoniae. Researchers believe it could be a blow to the disease.
4. New flu blood test to predict pneumonia risk!
Researchers say, with only a single drop of blood and with 91% accuracy, the blood test High-risk Influenza Screen Test (HIST) can predict the early warning signs released by the patient's body against the infections such as pneumonia. The HIST test works with any flu infection and will be useful during pandemics when there is a delay in finding vaccines for strains of the influenza virus.
5. Early life lower respiratory tract infections like pneumonia up asthma risk in later life
A new study presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2017 warns parents to take care of children who suffer from lower respiratory tract infections - bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia and general chest infections. According to Dr. Evelien van Meel from the University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, the children with lower respiratory tract infections have a two to four-fold increased risk of developing asthma in their adulthood and are also more likely to have worse lung function.
6. Common sedatives may up risk of pneumonia in Alzheimer's patients
The findings, published in Canadian Medical Association Journal, show that commonly used sedatives in people with Alzheimer's such as Benzodiazepines and non- benzodiazepines (Z-drugs) may increase the risk of pneumonia by increasing the aspiration of saliva or food into the lungs.
Dr Heidi Taipale from the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland says that this is a very important finding to consider in the treatment of Alzheimer's patients. The findings show that there is a 30% increased risk of pneumonia in patients with Alzheimer's.
7. A relief for kids recovering from complex pneumonia!
After hospital discharge, children with complex pneumonia need one to three weeks of antibiotic therapy to treat residual infection. A study published in Paediatrics Journal says that the children recovering from complex pneumonia can go home without a needle and tube stuck to their arms as oral antibiotics could bring them a sigh of relief instead of intravenous antibiotics. In these children, taking antibiotics by mouth avoids the risk of infections and medical complications from peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICC lines).
8. Pneumonia rate among children is highest in developing nations
A study published in the Respirology journal says that the use of solid fuels is linked with the rates of pneumonia among young children from developing countries. The lead author of the study, Roberto Accinelli, says that increasing the use of efficient stoves that cost about $30 each can avoid indoor pollution and improve the health of children.
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