Pneumonia or known as  ‘paru-paru berair’ by the Malays ;  is an  inflammation of the lung most often caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, and other organisms, although there are also non-infectious causes. Pneumonia is often a complication of a pre-existing condition and is triggered when a patient’s defense system is weakened, most often by a simple viral respiratory tract infection or a case of influenza, especially in the elderly. Pneumonia affects the lungs in different ways. Lobar pneumonia affects a lobe of the lungs, and bronchial pneumonia can affect patches throughout both lungs.


Here are some facts about pneumonia that you may not know.

1-It is the leading cause of death in children worldwide.

2-Pneumonia kills an estimated 1.2 million children under the age of five years old every year – more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined, claiming a young live every 20 seconds. That’s 4 300 young lives lost every day !

3-In fact, an estimated 98 percent of children who die of pneumonia are living in developing countries.stockvault-students113094

4-In these countries, children under 5 and under 2 years of age are at risk, especially in the poorest communities.

5- Each year, there are more than 150 million episodes of pneumonia in young children in developing countries, and more than 11 million children need hospitalization for pneumonia.

6-In 2006, 55 477 people died of pneumonia.

7-Pneumonia and influenza together are ranked as the eighth leading cause of death in the United States.

8-Together, pneumonia and influenza represented a cost to the United States economy in 2005 of $40.2 billion.

9-Although pneumonia caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics, but around 30% of children with pneumonia had receive the antibiotics they need, still be infected.

10-It is estimated that 175,000 cases of pneumococcal pneumonia occur each year, with a fatality rate of 5-7%, or even much higher among the elderly.

11-Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life is an important and easy way to help protect children from pneumonia and many other diseases.

12-The cost of antibiotic treatment for all children with pneumonia in 66 countries is estimated at around US$ 109 million per year.

13-The financial costs of pneumonia include hospital stays and medications, transportation to health centers, and the caretakers’ inability to work or take care of other family members while they are caring for a sick child. Families often must take out large loans to pay for care of their seriously ill child, which may further drag them into deep poverty.repaying-the-health-professions-student-loan-hpsl-c

14-The treatment for most types of serious pneumonia is usually antibiotics, which typically cost less than $1 per dose.

.15-Tragically, only an estimated 1 of every 5 children with pneumonia receives antibiotics.

16-There were an estimated 589,000 hospital discharges in males (40 per 10,000) and 643,000 discharges in females (42 per 10,000) attributable to pneumonia in 2006. The highest pneumonia discharge rate that year was seen in those 65 years old and over at 189 per 10,000.

17-One type of pneumonia caused by fungi is pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) which primarily affects AIDS patients.

18-Approximately 50 percent of pneumonia cases are believed to be caused by viruses

19-Pneumonia caused by viruses tend to result in less severe illness than bacteria-caused pneumonia.

20-Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia acquired outside of hospitals.

21-Mycoplasmas are responsible for approximately 15-50 percent of all adult cases of pneumonia and an even higher rate in school-aged children.

22-There are no generally effective treatments for most types of viral pneumonia, which usually heal on their own.

23-Overall in 2008, 67 percent of those 65 years of age or older received the pneumonia vaccine.

24-In 2008, only 53.6 percent of African Americans 65 years of age or older received the pneumonia vaccine, compared to 69.5 percent of whites in the same age group .


25-Pneumonia caused by the habit of taking shower at night is not scientifically approved.

As for that,  World’s Pneumonia Day is celebrated every year on 12th of November to raise awareness in finding new diagnostic and treatment to defeat pneumonia.
Nur Khalilah binti Ahmad Zaki
4th Year Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University