Pneumonia is a common lung disease caused by an infection in the air sacs in the lungs. The infections can be bacterial, viral or fungal. Most people can recover in one to three weeks, but for certain people, pneumonia can be extremely serious and even life-threatening.
“The very young and the very old are more at-risk for pneumonia and complications associated with pneumonia. Patients can be at increasingly susceptible to pneumonia, based on their smoking history or just their overall immune status. If they are frail or sickly, they can develop pneumonia more readily than young, healthy, well-nourished people,” Dr. Meyer says.
Symptoms, which include cough, fever, shaking chills and shortness of breath, can range from mild to severe. Dr. Meyer says it’s really important for adults over 65 or those with other chronic disease to get the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. Additional suggested ways to prevent this respiratory condition include washing hands frequently and getting the flu shot.