Pneumonia kills a child every 39 seconds – here are signs parents needs to know

Pneumonia is one of the world’s deadliest illnesses.

According to a UNICEF report, the infection kills a child every 39 seconds.

And in Britain, it results in six kids being rushed to hospital every hour.

Even though pneumonia is common, it is often described as a “forgotten epidemic”.

This is because many aren’t familiar with the warning symptoms to look out for.

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Pneumonia symptoms can manifest in just 24 to 48 hours – but in some cases, side-effects develop slowly.

It’s important to learn the warning signs and seek medical attention if you or your child is battling them.

The NHS lists the most common symptoms on its website. These include:

  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing
  • rapid heartbeat
  • high temperature
  • sweating and shivering
  • loss of appetite
  • chest pain

At times, sufferers may also experience these less common symptoms:

  • coughing up blood
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • wheezing
  • joint and muscle pain
  • confusion

If you are experiencing these symptoms, book an appointment with your GP.

Your doctor can then carry out an examination on your chest.

In some cases, more testing is required.

This can include temperature checks, X-rays and blood tests.

Those who have severe difficulties, such as laboured breathing and chest pain, should seek urgent medical attention.

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Mild cases of pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics.

Patients are also advised to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.

In more severe instances, sufferers are treated in hospital.

This is because the infection can lead to life-threatening complications including septicaemia.

For more information, visit the NHS website.

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