If you have not had measles or chickenpox or gotten vaccines against these diseases, avoid contact with people who have these infections. Pneumonia can be a complication of measles or chickenpox, so getting these infections can put you at risk for getting pneumonia.
Wash your hands often. This helps prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that may cause pneumonia.
Some studies show that the vaccine does not reduce the risk of pneumonia in adults. But the vaccine can prevent some of the serious complications of pneumonia, such as infection in the bloodstream (bacteremia) or throughout the body (septicemia), in younger adults and those older than 55 years with a healthy immune system.7
Experts recommend the vaccine for people who are older than 65, for adults who smoke, and for people who have a long-lasting (chronic) condition that increases their risk of pneumonia.
Other vaccines can prevent common diseases in which pneumonia may be a complication.
Vaccination of children for measles canprevent most cases of measles. Adults may need to be vaccinated against measlesif they have not had the disease or were not vaccinated duringchildhood.
Yearly vaccinations (shots) for influenza may preventyou from getting the flu. Influenza often can lead to pneumonia, especially inolder adults or in people who have other long-term (chronic) medical diseases.The influenza vaccine can be given at the same time as the pneumococcal vaccinebut in a different arm.
Vaccination with the chickenpox vaccine(varicella-zoster vaccine) can prevent most cases ofpneumonia caused by the virus that causes chickenpox. Consider getting avaccination if you are older than 13 and have not yet had chickenpox.
The mineral zinc may help reduce the risk of pneumonia in children. Zinc can be found in certain foods (lean red meats, seafood, beans, cereals) or added to the diet in supplements. Studies in developing countries found that the incidence of pneumonia in children dropped when zinc was added to the diet.8 Always talk to your doctor before giving your child zinc supplements or any other vitamin or mineral supplement.
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