Bengaluru: Rise in pneumonia cases alarms doctors

Deccan Chronicle.  | Joyeeta Chakravorty

Lifestyle, Health and Wellbeing

In January, the government-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases admitted some 139 patients, out of which 20 were pneumonia cases.

With rise in pneumonia cases, experts are even suggesting vaccinations as an option.

Bengaluru: In addition to those affected by H1N1 virus, the city is also witnessing a sharp rise in pneumonia cases in the last couple of months, with health experts calling for awareness drives and even vaccinations among the city residents.

In January, the government-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) admitted some 139 patients at the hospital's Intensive Respiratory Care Unit, out of which 20 were pneumonia cases and in February there were 28 such cases.

"In the last one-and-a-half months we have not just seen a spike in H1N1 cases, but also pneumonia cases," said Dr Shashidhar Buggi, Director, RGICD. He called for the need to create public awareness regarding pneumonia.

Pneumonia causes inflammation of air sacs in one or both the lungs, due to accumulation of fluid. It can be life-threatening, especially to infants and people over 65 years.

With rise in pneumonia cases, experts are even suggesting vaccinations as an option. Vaccination in adults is recommended for prevention of diseases such as typhoid fever, Hepatitis A & B, Flu (including H1N1), pneumonia and human papillomavirus - which is attributed to causing cervical cancer.

As per experts, vaccines are especially important for those with chronic conditions, who are more likely to develop complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases.

"These days vaccination is an important step in protecting adults against serious diseases. Most people believe that they were vaccinated during their childhood and it will offer them lifelong immunity. 

However, immunity from childhood vaccinations wear off and people may be at risk for new and different diseases," said Dr K.N. Manjunath, Consultant Internal Medicine, and Geriatrics, Vikram Hospital, Bengaluru.

"As we get older, we might also be at an increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases due to our age, job, lifestyle, travel, or chronic health conditions," Dr Manjunath added.

"Vaccination prevents a host of life-threatening diseases among children. Awareness among the parents of vaccination can go a long way to prevent pneumonia among the children," said Dr L. Sreenivasa Murthy, Medical Director, Nightingales Home Health Services.

Read more...