Lucknow: Cold and/or dry (low humidity) air may cause people with low immunity and children to contract pneumonia, so they need to be more careful during winter. This advice was given by experts on the eve of the World Pneumonia Day at King George’s Medical University (KGMU).
Former head of KGMU’s respiratory department Prof Rajendra Prasad said this lung infection can be caused by various microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.In some cases, pneumonia can be triggered by an immune disorder or other underlying medical conditions and added, “In winter, there is rise in number of pneumonia patients who already have lung issues (COPD, asthma), besides diabetes, hypertension, history of organ transplant or undergoing chemotherapy.”
Head of respiratory critical care department at KGMU, Prof Ved Prakash, said factors for rise of the illness are related to characteristics of viruses and bacteria, drying of nasal mucous membranes, enhanced airborne transmission and pollution. “Winter aids pneumonia and we see 300-400 pneumonia patients every year,” he added, emphasizing, “If a patient with a compromised immune system experiences cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid breathing, or difficulty in breathing, they should go to the hospital.” He said pneumonia was the second leading cause of death for patients on ventilators.
A faculty member in KGMU’s respiratory department, Prof RAS Kushwaha, stressed reduction of the infection, especially in the vulnerable and said that for the elderly, chronic patients, vaccines may offer essential protection.
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