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How you can prevent Pneumonia

11/30/2016

Pneumonia, like that caused by the pneumococcus bacteria, can impact all of us. Especially during flu season. If you are 65 and older, or have health issues like diabetes or asthma, you are at a higher risk of getting bacterial pneumonia because of the flu! Each year in the United States, about 50,000 people die from pneumonia*. But, pneumonia can be prevented.

How Can I Prevent Pneumonia?
  • Get a Vaccine – you can get a pneumonia vaccine at any time of the year, even at the same time as a flu shot.
    • Seniors 65 and Older – should get a pneumonia vaccine
    • Vaccines are even more important for people with diabetes, asthma, COPD, emphysema, HIV, cancer, organ transplants, or other long-term conditions
  • Ask if You Need a Second Shot – if you got the pneumonia vaccine before you turned 65, or it has been 5 or more years since your first one, ask your doctor if you need a second pneumonia vaccine.
  • Cover Your Nose and Mouth – you can use a tissue or your elbow, but cover your mouth and nose. The pneumonia bacteria is passed through respiratory droplets, so cover your own mouth and nose and try to avoid others that are coughing and sneezing.
  • Wash Your Hands OFTEN – wash your hands with soap and warm water often, and don’t touch your face without washing your hands first.
  • Do Not Smoke – Tobacco damages your lungs, and your ability to fight infection. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages. Common signs of pneumonia can include cough, fever, and trouble breathing*.
  • *Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Sources:
    ADAM
    http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Pneumonia/