Viruses—not bacteria—cause most childhood pneumonia

Science | AAAS | 6/27/2019 | Staff
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Pneumonia kills nearly 1 million children every year, but the lung infection’s precise cause is often hard to diagnose, forcing doctors to rely on antibiotics without knowing whether bacteria are to blame. Now, a new study reveals that most childhood pneumonia—some 60% of global cases—is caused by viruses.

An array of bacteria and viruses can invade the lungs to cause pneumonia, clogging the lungs’ delicate air sacs with fluid and reducing the oxygen they can absorb. In children especially, the sheer number of potential pathogens and the location of the infected fluid—deep within the lungs—makes diagnosis difficult.

Researchers - Way - Cause - Pneumonia - Children

Now, researchers have a new way to identify the cause of severe pneumonia in children. Over 2 years, researchers took nose and throat swabs as well as blood, sputum, and other fluid samples from 4232 children in Bangladesh, Gambia, Kenya, Mali, South Africa, Thailand, and Zambia, all of whom had severe...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Science | AAAS
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