How serious is pneumoniaInflammation of one or both lungs.? Despite the use of antibioticsMedication to treat infections caused by microbes (organisms that can't be seen with the naked eye), such as bacteria., pneumonia is still a significant illness. Pneumonia can be fatal, even in previously healthy individuals. However, to put this in context, as described by respiratory expert Dr Lieske Kuitert , "...there are around 1.5 million episodes of chest infections in the community each year in England and Wales, of which only around 5–10% are pneumonia."
Unfortunately, around 3,000 of these cases will prove fatal but of these, more than 80% are deaths caused by 'bronchopneumonia', which is normally only associated with other underlying medical conditions.
In her article entitled ' Treating Pneumonia ', Dr Kuitert reviews the nature of pneumonia in the community and says that, "...overall men are affected twice as often as women". She describes the symptoms of pneumonia, which can often be like any other feverThe raising of the body temperature above norma, which may be accompanied by symptoms such as shivering, headache and sweating. and therefore complicates the process of making an accurate diagnosisThe process of determining which condition a patient may have.. She finishes by explaing the latest treatment options for pneumonia, but of course, prevention is always better than cure and there is much that can be done including the availability of the pneumococcalRelating to the bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia. vaccine.