KOTA BHARU, June 12 (Bernama) -- Activists and media practitioners should get vaccinated against pneumonia before entering the Batek Orang Asli settlement in Kuala Koh, Gua Musang.
A medical officer at a private clinic here, Dr Hafidzah Mustakim said Influenza and Pneumococcal vaccines were able to prevent pneumonia.
“Symptoms experienced by pneumonia patients includes cough, chest pain, fever, chills, body aches and breathing difficulties. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, virus, fungi or parasites, can cause pneumonia.
“It is the most common cause of death due to infection at all ages as well as being the leading cause of death worldwide for children in low-income countries,” she said when contacted by Bernama here today.
Last Monday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad issued a directive barring the public from entering the Orang Asli settlement because of the contagious lung infection.
Commenting further, Dr Hafidzah said that when a person is infected with pneumonia, it can cause inflammation that causes the lungs to be filled with fluid and pus.
“People at risk of getting pneumonia are smokers, chronic lung or asthma patients, infants less than one year old or adults over 65 years and people with AIDS."
She said patients receiving chemotherapy or steroid treatment, kidney failure patients, people with cancer, malnutrition or prolonged malnutrition, excessive (alcohol) drinkers and those living in groups in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes were also at risk of contracting pneumonia.
She said the general treatment was to use antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal drugs to treat the disease depending on the cause of pneumonia.
“In most cases of pneumonia, the bacteria can be treated at home with oral antibiotics and most people respond to the antibiotics given.
“For more serious cases hospitalisation is required involving effective preventive measures like quitting smoking as it reduces damage to the lungs,” she said.
By Jenny Imanina Lanong Abdullah and Murni Nasri
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