Health & Science

Why You Should Watch For Pneumonia During Cold And Flu Season

Cases of pneumonia range from mild to very serious. It can also be prevented with good hygiene and personal health care

In the midst of cold and flu season, you also want to guard yourself against pneumonia. It’s a common disease with about a million cases a year requiring medical care. But it’s also easy to mistake for other medical problems.  

Pneumonia is really just a lung infection, says Dr. Carolee Estelle, associate chief of Infection Prevention at Parkland Hospital and assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

“[Pneumonia is] an infection of the lower part of the respiratory tract, deep down in the lungs. It can be caused by bacteria. It can be caused by viruses. It can be caused by fungi, a variety of different kinds of organisms,” she said.

Cases of pneumonia range from mild to very serious. About 50,000 cases a year result in death, usually involving people with underlying conditions. However, Estelle says pneumonia can be treated. It can also be prevented with good hygiene and personal health care.

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