CLEVELAND, OH - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a surge in pediatric pneumonia cases, leaving many parents worried. However, according to Dr. Frank Esper from Cleveland Clinic Children's, pneumonia is fairly common during this time of year.
Dr. Esper explains that as children return to school, they are more likely to be in close proximity to each other, providing ample opportunities for germs to spread. This results in an increase in pneumonia and other infections.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and can cause symptoms such as fast or troubled breathing, fever, cough (dry or with mucus), chills, and fatigue. A medical examination is necessary to diagnose pneumonia. The good news is that depending on the type, it can be treated with antibiotics, and most children recover without complications.
To protect their children, Dr. Esper advises parents to ensure they are vaccinated. Vaccinations offer the best protection against pneumonia, including shots for pneumococcus, influenza, and COVID-19. Children over the age of 6 months are eligible to receive both flu and COVID-19 vaccines.
If a child's symptoms do not improve over time or if they are experiencing severe breathing difficulties, Dr. Esper recommends contacting their pediatrician immediately.
As the number of pediatric pneumonia cases rises, it is essential for parents to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to safeguard their children's health.