DOHA: Experts from Hamad Medical Corporation have urged parents to be vigilant for signs of pneumonia, with symptoms including cough, chest pain, fever and difficulty breathing in their children.
As people around the world mark the fifth World Pneumonia Day, Dr. Amjad Tuffaha, Senior Consultant at the Department of Pediatrics at Hamad General Hospital, reminded parents in Qatar that pneumonia is a preventable disease.
“Although pneumonia can affect any age group, the most vulnerable are children under the age of five,” Dr Tuffaha said. However, if parents learn more about this infectious disease and follow the preventive measures, their children will be at a minimum risk of being affected.
“Parents should be concerned when they notice initial symptoms like a constant cough and high fever in their children, followed by breathing difficulties and loss of appetite as the disease progresses,” said Dr. Tuffaha.
He advised parents to begin the process of vaccinating their children immediately as this would significantly reduce the risk.
Pneumonia is a lung infection most often caused by inhaling bacteria, viruses or other types of germs, which leads to inflammation of lung tissue. Every year, pneumonia kills nearly 1.5 million children worldwide, making it the deadliest disease, even more than malaria, AIDS and measles combined.
Dr Tuffaha confirmed that “bacteria that cause pneumonia can occur in any environment”.
“However, the disease can be limited by adopting a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, proper hand washing, proper coughing, and ensuring children are properly immunized.” , did he declare.