What Is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs, resulting in inflammation of the alveoli, the air sacs that make up the bulk of the lungs and help us breathe. Infection causes them to fill with fluid or mucus, limiting the amount of oxygen entering the sacs and making it painful to breathe.
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;
- 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.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include: Chest pain when you breathe or cough. Confusion or changes in mental awareness (in adults age 65 and older) Cough, which may producephlegm. Fatigue. Fever, sweating and shaking chills.
The symptoms of this lung infection come on slower than the flu but faster than a cold. It gets tricky because pneumonia can be a complication of colds and flu. This happens when the germs that cause colds and flu get down into your lungs. You might be feeling better, but then you start getting symptoms again -- and this time they can be a whole lot worse.
PNEUMONIA IN THE PHILIPPINES
According to the Department of Health of the Philippines, more than five people die for every one thousand population in 2013. This is equivalent to 531,280 registered deaths from all causes and all ages. Of these deaths, 57 percent or 304,516 were males and 43 percent or 226,764 were females. For every 100 female deaths, there correspond 134 male deaths and which constituted to a death sex ratio of 1.34. It is consistent that numbers of male deaths are greater than female deaths. Consequently, males always have higher death rate than females. Reports also showed that the highest occurrences of deaths were among the elderly persons, 70 years and over. It comprised more than 38 percent of total deaths with 202,564 cases. However, death occurrence was least among age group 10-14 years with 0.9 percent. Deaths among under 1 year old is more than twice (21,992 or 4.1%) the number of deaths in ages 1-4 years (9,526 or 1.8%) The number of deaths increase as the people gets older. Statistics show that the risk of dying is directly proportional to age, starting with age 10 and up.