Prevent Pneumonia with the Flu and Pneumonia Vaccines
People over the age of 65 and under the age of five are more susceptible and likely to acquire pneumonia. Thankfully, there are vaccinations that may help prevent you or your loved ones from acquiring this sometimes deadly disease.
Do you know if you have all the immunizations you need? Finding out which vaccinations you may need is quick and simple thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine quiz: https://www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched/
Since pneumonia is easily contagious and often spreads by sneezing, coughing or even breathing, it’s important to take preventive measures to protect yourself.
Influenza often leads to people getting pneumonia, so getting the flu vaccine is the first step to help prevent pneumonia. The second step is to get the pneumonia vaccine(s) you need – for adults over 65 years of age there are two series of vaccinations. Consult your health care professional to find out which vaccinations you need.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria, virus or fungi. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, depending on your age, overall health and how severe your symptoms are. One million people seek professional care for pneumonia in the United States every year and 50,000 of those people die from pneumonia, according to a 2014 CDC study.
Reduce your odds
Outside of immunizations, you should do the following to lessen your chances of getting pneumonia:
- Wash your hands frequently – especially after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, eating or preparing foods
- Cough into your elbow
- If you are sick, don’t go to work – it will help stop spreading illnesses
- Disinfect frequently touched areas
- Don’t smoke – smokers are at a higher risk of getting pneumonia
- Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils
Those at higher risk
- Children under the age of five years old
- Adults 65 years or older
- People who have medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease
- People who smoke
For more information on pneumonia please see the CDCs pneumonia page at: http://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/