Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs, most commonly caused by an infection.

While most people will recover in a few days, vulnerable people such as the elderly and young children are at risk of a severe illness.

In serious cases it can result in hospitalisation and even death.

Now health bodies have raised concerns after Chinese authorities have confirmed a surge in pneumonia cases among children.

The first reports came in October as officials disclosed an influx in flu-like illness, compared to the same time in the previous three years.

Yesterday (November 22) the World Health Organisation (WHO) made an official request to China for “detailed information” on the outbreak.

But what are some of the warning signs of the potentially dangerous illness?

Due to its effect on the lungs, some of the symptoms involve how we breathe, although not all of them do.

To help people spot symptoms of pneumonia, experts at Senior Home Care by Angels in Ontario, Canada, shared a list of five potential red flags.

These include:

  • Chest pain during breathing or coughing
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shortness of breath.

However, these could easily be mistaken for signs of a cold or the flu, they warned.

Symptoms can also differ depending on the age of the patient.

In older people, it could be less noticeable, the Senior Home Care by Angels website explained.

It said: “Unfortunately, many tell-tale signs of pneumonia in adults under the age of 65 are often not present in older adults.

“Older adults often have fewer and more mild symptoms.

“For example, the phlegm-ridden cough and high fever accompanied with teeth-chattering chills often associated with pneumonia is often non-existent in older adults. So we have to look for other signs.

“Two red-flag signs of pneumonia in older adults are confusion and/or delirium, as well as a lower than normal body temperature.”

According to the NHS, symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • A cough – you may cough up yellow or green mucus (phlegm)
  • Shortness of breath
  • A high temperature
  • Chest pain
  • An aching body
  • Feeling very tired
  • Loss of appetite
  • Making wheezing noises when you breathe – babies may also make grunting noises
  • Feeling confused – this is common in older people.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms you should arrange to see a GP.

But you should call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • You’re struggling to breathe – you’re choking, gasping and unable to speak
  • You have pale, blue or blotchy skin, lips or tongue
  • You suddenly feel confused – for example, you do not know where you are
  • You cannot wake your baby and they feel floppy.

By admin

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