Pneumonia awareness, prevention, and vaccination on World Pneumonia DayNovember 12, 2018
This post is sponsored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases through an unrestricted educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc. to write about pneumococcal disease but all opinions are my own.
Gratitude is essential to happiness and gratitude is one of the fundamental tenets on which I have based my life.
And, good health is one of the primary things I am grateful for.
As a cancer survivor, I have learned that when you have good health everything else is manageable. That is why I never take my health for granted, and I act as my own advocate when it comes to healthcare. That includes being regularly vaccinated for deadly diseases that simple, safe vaccines can help protect against.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to avoid every type of illness, but it is possible to avoid many with the proper preventative healthcare. That’s why today, on World Pneumonia Day, in partnership with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, I am sharing the importance of adult vaccines.
Today is World Pneumonia Day!
Did you know that each year almost one million adults get pneumococcal pneumonia? Of those one million, 400,000 will end up hospitalized each year in the US.
A frightening 20,000+ will die from pneumococcal pneumonia; that’s about 5-7% of those who are hospitalized. The death rate is even higher in those age 65 years and older. These numbers are crazy given that there is a vaccine for pneumococcal pneumonia and it’s available to us all!
About Pneumococcal Pneumonia
Did you know that pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness throughout the world? A common type of bacteria, pneumococcus, which can attack different parts of the body, causes this disease. Illnesses caused by pneumococcus include pneumonia, meningitis, middle ear and sinus infections, and a condition called sepsis, an infection of the bloodstream.
The symptoms of pneumococcal disease vary depending on the illness caused by the bacteria. In adults, symptoms of pneumonia include sudden onset of illness characterized by shaking chills, fever, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, chest pain that is worsened by breathing deeply and a productive cough.
A life-saving vaccine on World Pneumonia Day
It’s essential to recognize that there are safe and effective vaccines that can help prevent pneumococcal disease. If you aren’t currently getting vaccinated, I encourage you to speak to your health care professional about the lifesaving benefits of pneumococcal vaccines. It’s especially crucial for those of us who are 65+ to get vaccinated.
Vaccines are recommended for routine use in children, adults age 65 years and older, and adults age 19 to 64 years with certain risk conditions like asthma or diabetes. Pneumococcal vaccines can be given at any time during the year and may be provided at the same time as the flu vaccine.
Join me today, World Pneumonia Day in sharing the importance of prevention of pneumonia through vaccination, using #PreventPneumo.
Like NFID on Facebook for more information on vaccines, follow NFID on Twitter @NFIDvaccines, and follow NFID on Instagram @nfid_vaccines.
For more information, please visit www.nfid.org/pneumococcal.
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