KUALA LUMPUR: Pneumococcal and influenza vaccines play vital roles in the protection against pneumonia, a respiratory expert here said today.
Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Private Specialist Centre Respiratory Medicine specialist, Dr Ahmad Izuanuddin Ismail, said children, especially babies aged two and below, senior citizens and patients with chronic illnesses are those who are at high risk of acquiring pneumonia.
He advised those in these groups to get flu and pneumococcal shots as a form of protection.
“Babies and children are advised to be given the influenza vaccine although it is optional. I understand the pneumococcal shots should be mandatory for (those) below 2 years old, but the (move) is not fully implemented.
“Pneumonia can turn serious and become fatal, especially among babies, children, senior citizens, chronic illness patients or those with weak immune systems,“ he said when contacted by Bernama today.
Early symptoms of pneumonia are cough, chest pains especially when taking deep breaths or when coughing, fever with chills, breathing difficulties and sudden unconsciousness.
Ahmad Izuanuddin said pneumonia is a lung infection that causes the lungs’ air sacs (alveoli) to become inflamed and fill up with fluid or pus that can cause the patient to have chesty cough, fever, chills and breathing difficulty.
Media reports yesterday quoted Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy as saying that two of the 14 orang asli deaths in the Kuala Koh area in Gua Musang, Kelantan were confirmed to be from pneumonia. — Bernama