Five Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Pneumonia

In honor of World Pneumonia day:

1)      Pneumonia is the world’s leading infectious killer of young children, taking the lives of nearly 1.6 million children under age five every year – more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. 43,000 children die every day of pneumonia.

2)      Most people think of it as a disease of the developed world, but it’s far more deadly in poor countries, where people may delay seeking hospital care or be unable to get the antibiotics – or accurate diagnosis – that they need for treatment. 98.5% of pneumonia deaths occur in the developing world.

3)      Fifteen countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda, are responsible for 75% of deaths from pneumonia.

4)       Breastfeeding is key to protecting babies against pneumonia. It gives them the nutrition they need to avoid getting sick, and the strength to fight the infection if they get sick.  In particular, it reduces the risk of pneumonia complications.

5)      This is only the second annual World Pneumonia Day – it was launched last year by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia. This year, the Coalition is asking people to wear blue jeans to raise pneumonia awareness.