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Covid-19 and Pneumonia? Know the symptoms and effective tips to prevent it | Health

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The emergence of the Covid-19 JN.1 variant, along with other variations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has increased the risk of pneumonia because these variants have the potential to worsen respiratory infections and impact the severity of pneumonia, which is a well-known complication of Covid-19. Certain variants may also play a role in affecting how common and severe pneumonia becomes in Covid-19 cases.

Covid-19 and Pneumonia? Know the symptoms and effective tips to prevent it (Photo by Unsplash)
Covid-19 and Pneumonia? Know the symptoms and effective tips to prevent it (Photo by Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Samir Garde, Director of Dept of Pulmonology and Lung Transplant at Global Hospitals in Mumbai’s Parel, revealed, “Any respiratory viral infection can potentially lead to Lower respiratory tract infection. Also these viral infections can predispose individuals for super added bacterial infections which can cause pneumonia.”

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Everything about pneumonia and the symptoms:

Dr Samir Garde explained, “Pneumonia is a serious respiratory infection that can affect individuals of all ages, especially those with weakened immune systems. It occurs when the air sacs in the lungs become inflamed and filled with fluid or pus, leading to symptoms such as coughing, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing. However, pneumonia can manifest differently in various individuals depending on their age and overall health.”

He elaborated, “For instance, older adults may experience confusion or a decline in cognitive function rather than typical respiratory symptoms. When it comes to identifying pneumonia symptoms to watch out for, it’s crucial to pay attention to sudden or worsening chest pain, high fever with chills, persistent cough accompanied by mucus production or blood-tinged phlegm, and shortness of breath. Additionally, fatigue and weakness are common signs that shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Asserting that effective measures such as vaccination campaigns play a crucial role in lessening the overall impact of severe respiratory infections and pneumonia linked to Covid-19 variants as well, Dr Samir Garde said, “Vaccination not only aims to prevent infection but also to decrease the severity of illness and the likelihood of complications, including pneumonia. Getting vaccinated against diseases known to cause pneumonia, such as influenza and pneumococcus, can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing pneumonia as a complication of Covid-19 or other respiratory infections.”

He advised, “Try to maintain good hand hygiene. Regularly washing hands with soap and water can significantly reduce the risk of contracting and spreading these respiratory illnesses. Additionally, practicing respiratory hygiene, such as covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, can help prevent the transmission of viruses that cause these diseases. Adhering to a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep can bolster the body’s immune system to better defend against infections like Covid-19 and pneumonia. Prioritising overall health empowers individuals to better cope with infectious diseases while also reducing their susceptibility to complications.”

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