Viet Nam News
HCM CITY— Việt Nam is among the 15 countries with the highest estimated numbers of clinical pneumonia, with 2.9 million cases reported every year, doctors said.
Pneumonia is the number one killer among the leading infectious diseases, with 920,000 deaths globally or 16 per cent of all deaths in the five last years, Trương Hữu Khanh, head of the infection and neurology department at HCM City’s Paediatrics Hospital No.1, said.
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection which is common in children under two and people aged over 65, he told a meeting held yesterday (Nov 11) to mark World Pneumonia Day.
It can be caused by many different pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae) is the leading bacterial cause in infants.
"Pneumococcus is a bacteria that normally stay in adults and children’s throat. It mostly spreads through air (coughing, sneezing) and through contact with sick people or healthy people carrying the bacteria,” Khanh said.
“Pneumonia caused by pneumococcus bacteria is extremely dangerous, with mortality rates of 10-20 per cent in young children."
Breastfeeding in the first months and immunisation are active ways to prevent pneumonia, Nguyễn Trần Hiển, chairman of the Việt Nam Association of Preventive Medicine, said.
According to doctors, pneumococcus is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, causing difficulties in treatment and creating pressure on the health sector and entire society.
World Pneumonia Day, November 12, was instituted in 2009 to raise awareness about the toll taken by pneumonia and advocate for global action to protect against, prevent and treat this deadly disease. —VNS