Published on November 04, 2019

Prevent Pneumonia with Immunizations

PELLA, Iowa—Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide and accounts for 15% of all deaths of children under five years old according to the World Health Organization. Pella Regional Health Center is reminding the public that immunizations against influenza, Hib, pneumococcus, measles and whooping cough (pertussis) are the most effective way to prevent pneumonia.

Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs and is caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi. It is more serious for infants and young children, people older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and may include:

  • Chest pain when you breath or cough
  • Confusion (in adults 65 and older)
  • Cough, which may produce mucus
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea 

“People should see their doctor if they have difficulty breathing, chest pain, fever of 102 F or higher, or a persistent cough,” said Dr. Rebecca Dykstra, DO, Family Practice Physician who also provides Obstetrics, at Pella Regional. “It is very important that people in high-risk groups see a doctor when they have these symptoms. High-risk includes adults older than 65, children younger than age 2 and people with weakened immune systems.”