Alternative Names Pneumonia - viral; "Walking pneumonia" - viral Prevention Wash your hands often, especially after blowing your nose, going to the bathroom, diapering a baby, and before eating or preparing foods. Don't smoke. Tobacco damages your lungs' ability to ward off infection. Vaccines may help prevent pneumonia in children, the elderly, and people with diabetes, asthma, emphysema , HIV, cancer, or other chronic conditions. A drug called palivizumab (Synagis) is given to some children under 24 months old to prevent pneumonia caused by respiratory syncytial virus. Flu vaccine prevents pneumonia and other problems caused by the influenza virus. It must be given each year to protect against new virus strains. If your immune system is weak, stay away from crowds. Ask visitors who have a cold to wear a mask. References Mandell LA, Wunderink RG, Anzueto A, et al. Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society consensus guidelines on the management of community-acquired pneum...
Prevention The best way to prevent serious respiratory infections such as pneumonia is to avoid sick people (if possible), and to practice good hygiene. [See In-Depth Report #94: Colds and influenza . ] Good Hygiene and Preventing Transmission Colds and flu are spread primarily from infected people who cough or sneeze. A very common method for transmitting a cold is by shaking hands. Research has found that washing hands frequently can prevent the spread of viral respiratory illnesses. Always wash your hands before eating and after going outside. Using ordinary soap is sufficient. Alcohol-based gels are also effective for everyday use, and may even kill cold viruses. If extreme hygiene is required, use alcohol-based rinses. Antibacterial soaps add little protection, particularly against viruses. In fact, one study suggested that common liquid dishwashing soaps are up to 100 times more effective than antibacterial soaps in killing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Wiping surfaces with a sol...
What is asthma?
Asthma is a disease in which the airways become blocked or
narrowed. These effects are usually temporary, but they cause
shortness of breath, breathing trouble and other symptoms. If an
asthma attack is severe, a person may need emergency treatment to
restore normal breathing.
About 15 million Americans have asthma, including nearly five
million children under age 18. This health problem is the reason
for nearly half-a-million hospital stays each year. People with
asthma can be of any race, age or sex. Its treatment costs billions
of dollars each year.
Despite the far-reaching effects of asthma, much remains to be
learned about what causes it and how to prevent it. Although asthma
can cause severe health problems, in most cases treatment can
control it and allow a person to live a normal and active life.
What Causes Asthma Attacks?
Things in the environment trigger an asthma attack. These
triggers vary from person to person, but common ones include cold
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