Childhood pneumonia continues to be one of the biggest threats to children’s healthcare. It is responsible for the deaths of almost one million children every year. Diagnosing the cause of the lung infection can be a challenge, which is why many doctors simply prescribe antibiotics. It turns out pneumonia in children may not be caused by bacteria. A new study has revealed that as many as 60 percent of the world’s childhood pneumonia cases are caused by viruses.
What is Childhood Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is caused when certain bacteria or viruses cause the lungs’ air sacs to fill with fluid, which leads to inflammation. The inflammation reduces the amount of oxygen the lungs can absorb.
Pneumonia It can be mild to severe and can affect one or both of the lungs. It can be life-threatening, especially in younger children and older adults. Some of the symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain when breathing or coughing, fatigue, fever, nausea, and shortness of breath.
The Main Cause of Pneumonia in Children
The number of potential pathogens plus locating the infected fluid makes diagnosing pneumonia difficult, especially in children. Recently, researchers have determined a way to identify the cause of severe childhood pneumonia.
Researchers analyzed nose swabs, throat swabs, blood, sputum, and other fluid samples from over 4,000 children with severe pneumonia throughout the world, including Thailand, South Africa, Kenya, and Bangladesh. They analyzed these samples for the most likely cause of pneumonia using a list of 30 pathogens. They found viruses accounted for over 60% of all childhood cases, while bacteria only accounted for 30 percent. The other 10% were the result of fungi, tuberculosis, and other unknown causes.