Manipal: Pneumonia bigger killer than many infectious diseases

By Alexander Chandy
Udupi Today Media Network

Manipal, 19 November 2017: “Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages can be prevented with vaccines,” said Dr Kavitha Saravu, Joint Coordinator of Manipal McGill Center for Infectious Diseases at the CME held on the occasion of World Pneumonia Day on Wednesday. “Two pneumococcal vaccines given at an interval of one year could protect against 75% of strains producing streptococcal pneumonia in adults,” she said.



Dr Kavitha added that there were other vaccines too that help prevent infection by some of the bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia. World over pneumonia kills nearly 1 million children under 5 years of age and a child dies from the infection every 20 seconds. “Fatality from pneumonia surpasses the number of deaths from any infectious disease, such as HIV infection, malaria, or tuberculosis.  Pneumonia in India accounts for 1/5th of the deaths worldwide caused by pneumonia,” she said.


“Doctors can help individuals in making an informed decision about these vaccines, their risk of getting ill with pneumonia and potential benefit of vaccination,” Dr Kavitha said at the CME organized by Manipal McGill Center for Infectious Diseases (MACID), (a centre of excellence established by Manipal University in association with Mc Gill University Montreal, Canada), Kasturba Hospital Manipal, Manipal College of Nursing and Manipal School of Nursing. 


Other programmes held on the occasion were; lectures and deliberations by a panel of experts on prevention of pneumonia, a quiz for post graduates, radio talk on childhood pneumonia along with instructive displays for patients, informative skit, and a poster competition on the theme “Stop Pneumonia: Invest in Child Health”.


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