How does one prevent Pneumonia?

By  , Expert Content
Aug 05, 2011

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Pneumonia in most cases has good prognosis but it can be very serious and even life threatening. It is not possible to prevent all types of pneumonia but when possible, steps to prevent the infection should be taken. Some measures to prevent pneumonia include:




Vaccines cannot prevent infection from all types of germs. But vaccines to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia and flu are available. These are the two most common causes of pneumonia. According to experts people who develop pneumonia after vaccination tend to have:


  • Milder infection.
  • Shorter duration of illness.
  • Fewer serious complications.


Pneumococcal Pneumonia Vaccine


The vaccine to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia gives protection for at least 5 years in adults after 1 shot. This vaccine often is recommended for:


  • Elderly (people more than 65 years of age).
  • People with chronic (ongoing) diseases such as lung disease, heart ailments, or other serious long-term health problems, or weak immune systems (due to medications, cancer, HIV/AIDS, damaged or removed spleen).
  • Smokers.
  • Young Children (less than 5 years).
  • Children (5–18 years of age) and adults with certain medical conditions, such as heart or lung diseases or cancer.


Influenza Vaccine


The seasonal flu shot that helps to prevent the flu is good for 1 year. As many people develop pneumonia after having the flu, the vaccine is effective for reducing the risk of pneumonia as well.


Hib Vaccine


Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a type of bacteria. It is a common cause of meningitis and pneumonia in children. The Hib vaccine is recommended in children who are younger than 5 years old to help prevent these infections.


Other measures to prevent Pneumonia


  • Avoid contact with people who have symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, cold, fever).
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. This is one of the best ways to prevent many common infections. If soap and water is not available use an alcohol-based hand gel to clean hands.
  • Avoid smoking as it damages your lungs' ability to filter out and protect you, against germs.
  • Eat healthy foods, do exercises and take adequate rest to keep your immune system strong. Your diet should include plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and fat-free dairy products.


Measures to prevent Infecting Others


To prevent infecting others, avoid close contact with family and friends. Use tissues to cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. The used tissue should be disposed off as soon as possible. If there is no tissue, sneeze in the elbow sleeve.


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