EBM News
EBM News

Pneumonia In Babies: Causes, Symptoms

World Pneumonia Day is observed on 12 November every year. The World Pneumonia Day aims to raise awareness of pneumonia as a public health issue and help prevent the millions of avoidable child deaths from pneumonia that occur each year. Organised by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia, the day seeks to bring attention among donors, policymakers, health care professionals and the general public. The first World Pneumonia Day was observed on 2 November 2009 and since then, the day has been shifted to 12 November.

Regarded as the world’s leading cause of death among children, pneumonia kills one child every 39 seconds – yet, pneumonia remains a neglected disease. The pneumonia-causing virus enters our body through our lungs and settles in the air sacs. Our body tries to fight off this by inflammation and fills our lungs with fluid and pus [1] . Ranked as the eighth leading cause of death in the world, there is a growing need to educate people about this disease and prevention methods.

Though there are vaccines available for the prevention of this disease, once contracted it can be difficult to combat. Doctors usually prescribe certain antibiotics to reduce pain and swelling. Many resorts to ayurvedic remedies to manage the disease[2] . In this article, we will take a look at the way the condition affects young children.

Caused by a variety of germs such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites – pneumonia is mostly caused by viruses such as adenoviruses, rhinovirus, influenza virus (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and parainfluenza virus [3]. The causes of childhood pneumonia can vary by age. That is, pneumonia due to respiratory viruses, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenza is more common in children under 5 years old.

Pneumonia due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae is frequently observed in children between the ages of 5 and 13 [3] . Babies who develop pneumonia caused by bacteria usually become sick quickly and the ones who get it by viruses will have symptoms that appear more gradually and are less severe[4] . Likewise, pneumonia can also be caused by chlamydia, in children.

Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Babies

In babies and children, symptoms may be less specific and they may not show clear signs of a chest infection. Some common symptoms of the infection in babies are as follows [5] :

Fever Lack of energy

Lethargy

Noisy or rattly breathing

Have difficulty with feeding

Grunting sound with breathing