EndNotes

Children and pneumonia: the danger signs

In a recent teleconference, organized by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia, two experts in pneumonia research and prevention talked about how risky pneumonia is for children in the United States – and throughout the world.

Pneumonia is the biggest killer of children under 5; every 20 seconds a child somewhere in the world dies of it.

Symptoms can escalate quickly. Some danger signs:

• A child is working so hard to breathe that he or she can’t nurse or sip a bottle.

• A child has an apprehensive expression while trying to breathe.

• A child has a cold and then develops a high fever on top of it.

• A child who is blue around the lips.

• A child who is breathing very fast.

• A child whose chest is moving in a way that indicates it’s extremely difficult to breathe.

The researchers also expressed frustration with parents in the United States who resist pneumonia vaccinations for their children. It’s a different story in other countries.

Dr. Orin Levine with the International Vaccine Access Center said: “Every time we go to Africa to film a documentary about pneumonia, we say, ‘Is there a child in this hospital with pneumonia?’

“They show us a child and every time, there is a kid that dies. When we go to those communities and say there’s a new lifesaving pneumonia vaccine, we don’t get the pushback about the adverse reactions. We get 6,000 people in the football stadium wanting the vaccines.”




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.




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