older adults

This is how pneumonia affects older adults Common symptoms of pneumonia and vaccinations to avoid it

Over the past decade, cases of pneumonia caused by bacteria and influenza among older adults have been on the rise, said Ruy López Ridaura, head of the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control of the Ministry of Health.

According to epidemiological data, while in 2007 27 thousand 154 cases of pneumonia were registered in the population aged 65 years and over; In 2017, 33 thousand 791 were presented.

The expert indicated that the increase is also related to antimicrobial resistance.

Justino Regalado, deputy medical director of the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, explained that with age, the immune system is declining, so older adults have a higher risk of acquiring this disease that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Also, those with chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases, are more susceptible.

The specialist indicated that vaccination against pneumococcus, every five years, and influenza, every year is essential in this sector of the population.

He said that these vaccines do not necessarily prevent the spread of these diseases, but in those who apply it, it is guaranteed that if they register these diseases they are not so serious and fatal.

This condition is an infectious process of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi characterized by the presence of high fever, chills, headache, cough, expectoration, and difficulty breathing.

The specialist indicated that pneumonia causes inflammation of the lung tissue and secretions flood the alveoli, making it difficult to capture oxygen. He noted that the influenza virus can cause this disease.

He said that the care that older adults should have at this time when more viruses and bacteria circulate, is to avoid sudden changes in temperature and be exposed in events where there are high concentrations of people.

According to the expert, 800 cases of pneumonia are treated annually in the INER and 70 percent occur in the cold season.

In this institute, pneumonia is the leading cause of death in the emergency department and nationwide is among the first 20 causes of death.

It is common for the patient not to pay attention to the symptoms, which is very dangerous.

Avoid risks

The common symptoms of pneumonia are:

-Common cold

-General discomfort

-Difficulty breathing


– Yellow or greenish coloring marks

-Chest pain


Protect it

People over 65 should get vaccinated:

Every five years

-Contract pneumococcus


-Against influenza

Take care of it

-Keep your older adult away from sick people

-Check that you wash your hands

-Clean surfaces that usually touch a lot