Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of the lungs that causes inflammation and fluid build-up, resulting in coughing, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. It can be most serious for infants, adults older than 65 years, and for individuals with weakened immune systems or existing health problems.
Pneumonia causes more than a million hospitalizations and 50,000 deaths every year.
Here are 5 facts about pneumonia that the American Lung Association thinks you should know:
- Anyone can get pneumonia, even if some are at higher risk.
- Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- Flu is a common cause of pneumonia. So preventing the flu is a good way of reducing your risk of pneumonia.
- Complications from pneumonia are more likely to affect older adults, infants, and those with weakened immune systems or existing health problems.
- Good health habits can fight pneumonia. Wash your hands, follow a healthy diet, get adequate rest, exercise regularly, and don’t smoke. All these behaviors can help you prevent getting pneumonia. And if you do get sick, these good health habits will help promote faster recovery.