Oklahoma City Indian Clinic aims to reduce the spread of pneumonia
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, a nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, wants to protect people pneumonia, which sometimes can be deadly.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that may be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The infection causes the lungs’ air sacs to become inflamed and fill up with fluid or pus.
Symptoms can vary, ranging from mild and almost unnoticed, to severe, where hospitalization is required.
According to The American Lung Association, symptoms of include:
• Cough, which may produce greenish, yellow or even bloody mucus
• Fever, sweating and shaking chills
• Shortness of breath
• Rapid, shallow breathing
• Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough
• Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue
• Nausea and vomiting, especially in small children
• Confusion, especially in older people
People age 65 and over are at increased risk because their immune system is less able to fight off infection. Infants and children two years of age or younger are also at increased risk because their immune systems are not yet fully developed.
“Many times adults think they don’t need continued vaccinations because they received them as children, but they are wrong,” said OKCIC officials. “Adults need to keep their vaccinations up-to-date. Immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time and adults are at risk for different diseases.”
Check with your health care provider or pharmacist to see if they offer pneumonia vaccines and if you are a good fit to receive them. Vaccines may be available at private doctor offices, public or community health clinics or pharmacies. OKCIC patients can get a flu shot by appointment or on a walk-in basis in medical, public health or the pharmacy.