Preparing for Flu and Pneumonia Ahead of the First Season Change without Masks

In addition to Corona 19, be careful of influenza and pneumonia
Missing treatment can be life-threatening
Prevention through vaccination… high-risk group required

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During the changing seasons, special attention is needed for other respiratory infections such as flu and pneumonia. In particular, influenza and pneumonia can be life-threatening if treatment is missed. Therefore, it is more important than anything else to prevent it through vaccination (Photo = Clip Art Korea).

As Corona 19 enters a stable phase, it is an atmosphere that is approaching a complete daily recovery. But COVID-19 is still prevalent, especially these days. During the change of season, other respiratory infections are also rampant..

Respiratory infections that require special attention are by far flu and pneumonia. According to the Weekly Newsletter for Infectious Diseases Monitoring by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the 8th week of 2023 (February 19-25), there were 241 new patients with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) (7 influenza, 94 pneumonia, etc.), an increase from the previous week (218).

Many people think that flu and pneumonia are just bad colds. Both diseases are life-threatening if not treated

In fact, it has been reported that the flu causes between 3 million and 5 million people worldwide each year to become severely ill and between 250,000 and 500,000 die. It is known that more than 2,000 people die from the flu every year in Korea.

Pneumonia is the 3rd leading cause of death in Korea and the 1st leading cause of death due to acute respiratory diseases. Pneumonia is also a serious complication that increases the risk of death in flu patients. In addition, if the timing of treatment is missed, complications such as meningitis or bacteremia can develop.

Considering the fatality rates of flu and pneumonia, the best preventionam. Fortunately flu and pneumonia preventive vaccinethere is Timely vaccination can reduce the risk of infection as well as the risk of severe disease.

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First of all, influenza viruses change every year. Influenza vaccine is given annuallyShould be. especially Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with underlying diseases who are vulnerable to flu and have a high risk of complications are eligible for free vaccination as required.this is possible Even healthy people can become severely ill. Annual vaccination is recommendeddo.

Most of the pneumonia Prevention of bacterial pneumonia caused by pneumococcal infection through pneumococcal vaccinecan do. The major risk factors for pneumococcal infection are age and underlying disease. Pneumococcal vaccination is essential for those aged 65 years or older, those with chronic diseases, and immunocompromised patients.recommended as

It has been reported that even if the body is healthy, the risk of pneumococcal infection is about twice as high for those aged 65 and older compared to healthy adults aged 50 to 64 years. In addition, even adults under the age of 65 are known to have a high risk of pneumococcal infection by 8 times in patients with chronic lung disease, 4 times in patients with chronic heart disease, and 3 times in patients with diabetes. People with reduced immunity due to various reasons, such as cancer, radiation therapy, and immunosuppressive patients, are also at high risk and must be vaccinated with pneumococcal vaccine.

risk group Vaccination recommendations Interval between 23-valent vaccine after 13-valent vaccine
Healthy seniors aged 65 and over

1 dose of 23-ga vaccine

Sequential vaccination with 13-23 vaccines once each

Over 1 year

chronic disease

(diabetes, smoking, chronic lung disease, heart disease)

Sequential vaccination with 13-valent vaccine and 1 dose of 23-valent vaccine Over 1 year
Cerebrospinal fluid leakage, cochlear implant patient 8+ weeks
Immunocompromised patients, functional and anatomical asthenia 8+ weeks
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Unlike the flu vaccine, which only needs to be administered once a year, the pneumococcal vaccine requires two doses depending on the situation. The pneumococcal vaccine for adults available in Korea is ▲13-valent protein conjugate vaccine (hereinafter referred to as 13-valent vaccine) and ▲23-valent polysaccharide vaccine (hereinafter referred to as 23-valent vaccine) There are two types.

According to the adult vaccination guidelines of the Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, Healthy adults aged 50 years or older can prevent pneumococcal disease with one dose of 23-valent vaccinecan do. but For adults aged 65 years or older who have been vaccinated in their 50s and have not been vaccinated within the last 5 years, additional vaccinations according to vaccination recommendationsneed this

not even once Seniors aged 65 years or older without vaccination experience should receive 23-valent vaccine oncedo or Sequential vaccination of 13-valent and 23-valent vaccines at 1-year intervalsdo. Sequential vaccination is recommended for immunosuppressed patients aged 18 to 64 and those with chronic diseasesdo. According to the Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, if each of the two vaccines is administered sequentially, Prevents a wider range of serotypescan do Immuno-enhancing reaction (booster effect) can be obtained, which is effective in preventing pneumococcal diseasecan be

Meanwhile, the 23-valent vaccine is included in the national mandatory vaccination. no vaccination experience People over 65 years of age can get 1 free vaccinationdo. This year, those born before December 31, 1958 are eligible.It is important not to miss out on the benefits of vaccination.

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Professor Oh Beom-jo of the Department of Family Medicine at Boramae Hospital in Seoul said, “In spring, face-to-face contact is expected to increase significantly due to increased activity and the liberalization of wearing masks.” As it is the first change of season after taking off the mask, Concern about the spread of other respiratory infectious diseases other than COVID-19It is a situation,” he said.

He added, “The number of patients during the changing season is increasing. Influenza and pneumonia must be prevented“Especially Vaccination is essential for high-risk groups, such as the elderly, immunocompromised, and those with chronic lung and heart-related diseases.We can do it,” he stressed.

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