The data up to the 26th week published by the Ministry of Health (Minsa) in the Epidemiological Bulletin shows that the number of pneumonia cases in Nicaragua has continued to increase for the past seven weeks. In its latest report, the health agency said there were 1,911 new cases of pneumonia in the past seven days.
In its bulletin, the Ministry of Health noted that 39,957 cases have been reported so far, compared to 36,390 cases registered during the same period last year, Represents 10% more.Last year, according to the Minsa Health Map, there were 513 Nicaraguans die from pneumonia.
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2021 and 2020 will see the highest number of deaths, at 2,330 and 2,844, respectively. It should be noted that the agency hid the epidemiological bulletin for 17 months, which is equivalent to the second half of 2020 and the whole year of 2021, and it will not be unsealed until December 2021.
Likewise, a total of 27,861 people will be hospitalized with pneumonia in 2022.
It is worth mentioning that pneumonia is a sudden lung infection produced by pneumococcus bacteria of six serotypes or variants, which can combine with viruses such as influenza.
Symptoms and how they spread
Epidemiologist Lionel Aguero mentioned that these symptoms include High fever, chest pain, tiredness, shortness of breath, cough with phlegm. Plus, he reassures, that in older people it happens more slowly and “it can alter the mental state.” For infants and young children, fever, vomiting, and seizures may be “first signs.”
Likewise, the epidemiologist explained to LA PRENSA that “the infection may be complicated by pus, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock and other complications.”
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Argüello pointed out that the mortality rate is higher than 10%, and the mortality rate of infants under six months is as high as 60%. “In other words, between 10 and 60 deaths per 100 patients,” he warned.
As for the route of transmission, it’s through “tiny droplets of saliva that you breathe in from another sick person, the same way covid-19, flu, flu, and RSV are spread, i.e. the same as respiratory transmitted diseases.” From you It takes 1 to 3 days for breathing to become uncomfortable.”
As the expert explained, 24 hours after receiving an antibiotic treatment against the bacteria, that is, when the microbe becomes sensitized, “the person does not continue to spread the disease to others”.
Preventive measures and reasons for the increase
Regarding precautionary measures, epidemiologist Aguero said that since this is a respiratory infection, all distancing measures are appropriate.
- A physical distance of two meters between people.
- Wear a mask, especially if you are around sick people.
- Cover your cough with the inside of your elbow or a tissue to avoid spreading germs to others.
- If you become sick within 24 hours of starting antibiotic treatment, stay home or in hospital.
- Avoid crowds, that is, don’t go to crowded places, look for open places.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds.
Nicaraguan experts recommend preventing malnutrition, promoting physical activity and vaccinating against pneumococcus.
The rise in positive cases, interpreted by epidemiologists as representing a “pneumonia epidemic” in the country, could be due to “a rise in all respiratory infections in winter”, so he stressed that it is important to implement educational measures and Vaccination.
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Infants, the elderly, the chronically ill and the malnourished “are the groups most at risk for complications, but anyone can get sick or infected,” the experts noted.
Aguero also said that even if the person doesn’t smoke, by inhaling the smoke indirectly (like wood smoke) “your defenses go down and you’re more susceptible to respiratory infections.”