Quick — what's the leading killer of children under the age of 5? Not AIDS, not cancer, not even the flu. Pneumonia kills a child every 20 seconds, but that statistic can easily be improved with vaccinations and education. On the eve of World Pneumonia Day, I spoke with ABC News' senior health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser and Dr. Orin Levine from the International Vaccine Access Center about this preventable disease. Take this quiz to see how much you know about pneumonia and what we can do to bring down these deadly statistics.Take the Quiz
Winter is prime time for respiratory illnesses. When coughing and sneezing begin, mamas may know the warning signs for the flu, but that's not the only game in town this time of year. RSV and pneumonia have many similarities but are two very different illnesses. Take this quiz to see if you know which is which!Take the Quiz
In what might be seen as another reason to panic, public health officials have issued a warning about a "potentially deadly airborne fungus" spreading in the Pacific Northwest. The fungus was first seen 10 years ago in Canada and has since spread through Washington with recent cases in both Portland and Northern California. The "killer fungus" has triggered an infection in its victims that can cause pneumonia and meningitis. According to records, a little more than 50 cases have been reported, with 10 of those being fatal.
Scary? Yes. But not panic worthy. At least that's the message the CDC told WebMD.
"We wouldn't recommend that people change their habits in any way," Julie Harris, PhD, MPH, a staff epidemiologist with the CDC, tells WebMD. "We wouldn't recommend people stay indoors or don't go hiking or don't go outdoors."
The infection only happens from inhaling the microbial pathogen, but even then officials say that contraction is extremely rare. Also of importance is that it's not contagious, meaning another person cannot infect you.
If you do hike in these areas, keep in mind the symptoms associated with the infection. If infected, these symptoms will arrive two to eight months after exposure: severe headache, fever, chills, and shortness of breath.
While we at Fit don't want to freak you out, we know how important it is to be aware of what's out there. Since hiking presents a new set of challenges – bugs and rocky terrain come to mind — make sure to always play it extra safe.