[Chinese Health Network/Special Report]The flu season is most afraid of viruses and bacteria, and pneumonia is more deadly! Yao Zonghan, an attending physician in the Department of General Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital Cancer Hospital Branch, said that Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major threat to pneumonia, and an American study found¹ that the older the elderly, the higher the risk of pneumonia. If you are over 65 years old and have chronic lung disease, the risk of contracting Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia is 7.7 times higher than the average person, and the risk of developing invasive pneumonia is more than 6 times higher than that of the general population. It is a life-threatening crisis that cannot be ignored.
The influenza virus epidemic period in winter is also the period when Streptococcus pneumoniae infection is prevalent. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common bacterium that causes pneumonia. In recent years, due to the promotion of Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccination, the infection rate has decreased. However, according to the statistics of Taiwan’s pneumonia diagnosis and treatment guidelines released in 2018, the threat caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae is still greater than that of other bacteria. In particular, Streptococcus pneumoniae may live in the nasal cavity of the human body. When the immunity is good, it is not a threat to the human body; once the immunity declines or the body is first captured by a virus infection, the bacterial army will easily enter and cause serious secondary damage.
Dr. Yao said that people with diabetes, chronic heart disease, immune rheumatism, chronic liver disease, immune insufficiency, and chronic lung disease are at higher risk for pneumonia. Chronic lung disease covers a wide range of people, including bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, etc., and there are also smokers. Regardless of age group, these risk groups are more likely to contract pneumonia than healthy people of the same age.
Yao Zonghan, a specialist in thoracic and lung cancer, said that lung cancer patients are also at high risk for pneumonia. The impaired lung function will also lead to the destruction of local immunity and increase the chance of pneumonia infection. In addition, lung cancer patients receiving chemotherapy also It will reduce the systemic immunity, and also pay attention to the threat of Streptococcus pneumoniae.
As for whether pneumonia increases the risk of developing lung cancer, Dr. Yao said that there is currently no consensus in the medical community. But people whose lungs have been severely damaged, such as those with pulmonary fibrosis and severe tuberculosis, may have an increased risk of developing lung cancer later in life. If pneumonia is treated early, it can be cured without leaving sequelae, but severe cases may leave severe lung damage. The public should be aware of prevention and be more vigilant.
In addition to the high-risk group of pneumonia who should be vaccinated, Dr. Yao also mentioned that he had contact with a soldier who was only 28 years old in the past. Because of the subsequent severe pneumonia caused by influenza infection, both lungs were white, and he had to be admitted to the intensive care unit. Intubation. Therefore, I remind everyone that pneumonia is by no means the patent of the elderly, and young people do not want iron teeth. If they are a high-risk group of infection, they can evaluate the influenza vaccine and Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine. However, the cost of some self-funded pneumococcal vaccines will increase after the Lunar New Year, and the cost of each hospital varies. People evaluate their own conditions and discuss vaccination with doctors to enhance their protection.
In the end, Dr. Yao also reminded that the symptoms of pneumonia may be similar to a cold, and people may think it is a cold and neglect treatment, leading to delays. Colds are usually systemic symptoms, such as fatigue, body aches, upper respiratory tract symptoms, and slight fever; pneumonia is characterized by concentrated symptoms, cough, phlegm, and high temperature and fever. If people have a fever of 38.5 degrees for more than 3 days, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible. They may be infected with influenza or pneumonia and must be further actively treated.