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Pneumonia: Newer Preventions, Treatments For Killer Disease Revealed

Update Date: Feb 13, 2017 08:30 AM EST

Pneumonia continues to be the most infectious cause of death of children under five. The disease is killing 2,500 children a day and it accounted for 15 percent of deaths in children who were five years old and younger. In 2015, it killed 920,000 children and most of its victims are under two years old.

Many have begun studies in finding a cure, and two Michigan doctors, Dr. Michael Bachman and Dr. Laraine Washer shared some useful tips on how to avoid it. Bachman said that because of modern technology, the time it takes for a properly equipped testing lab to identify which bacterium or virus is causing a person sick has gone from more than a day to just a few hours, as per Knowridge Science Report.

Due to this rapid pace of identification, doctors can now get more information to pick the right treatment for each patient. As of now, this kind of testing is only available for hospitalized patients. But in the near future, it may guide and care for the less severe cases.

People could protect themselves and love ones through a vaccine, which can prevent many infections that might lead to pneumonia. According to Basher, being vaccinated is not a guaranteed way to prevent pneumonia, but it is the best defense that we have today.

There are other ways to help people prevent pneumonia and one of the most basic prevention tips is to wash your hands and cover your cough.

For people ages 65 and up, it is advisable to get pneumonia shots. PCV13 (Prevnar) allows a person to prevent 13 infectious bacteria. After a year of using PCV13, a person could use PPSV23 vaccine (Pneumovax) which prevents 23 infectious bacteria.

For baby or toddler, it is advisable to get vaccines on schedule. Vaccines can protect babies from catching infections, which might lead to pneumonia.

Smokers are advised to quit as puffing on cigarettes greatly increases the chances of getting pneumonia. If a person can't stop from smoking, it is necessary to talk to a doctor about vaccination.

In Malaysia, a string of infections have caused one death, one critical and 40 others from the same family quarantined at the Tanah Merah hospital, as per The Independent. The infection is caused by a possible super bug called 'Klebsiella pneumonia.'

Meanwhile, Washer said that the number of infections from the most common bacterial cause of pneumonia has decreased because of newer vaccinations. On the other hand, Bachman said that if doctors can figure out what the cause of pneumonia is, they could appropriately treat patients with very targeted drugs. He also said that this is better than broad-based ones that could lead to resistance.  

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