Pneumonia Awareness Week
Monday, May 6 to Sunday, May 12, 2013
This Pneumonia Awareness Week we’ll be educating Australians about the seriousness of pneumonia, and encouraging those at risk of the potentially life-threatening lung infection, including people with certain chronic illnesses and older Australians, to seek further information from their doctor.
This year’s theme for Pneumonia Awareness Week is Love Your Lungs. Throughout this week we’ll be encouraging Australians to share key messages about how to help protect against pneumonia this winter via social media, by following the hashtag #loveyourlungs
Pneumonia should not be underestimated. Pneumonia and Influenza is one of the top 10 contributing causes of deaths in Australia.1
Pneumonia – the result of air sacs in the lungs filling with fluids and obstructing normal air flow2 – is associated with symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty breathing.2 Pneumococcal pneumonia is caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae),5 which healthy people may carry in their nose and throat. While most of the time this does not cause any illness, vulnerable groups may develop pneumococcal disease.5
People at risk of pneumococcal pneumonia should see their doctor this winter about ways to help protect against infection, including vaccination.
Pneumonia Awareness Week is a Lung Foundation Australia initiative supported by bioCSL.
1. AIHW. Australia's Health 2010. Australia's Health no. 12. Cat. no. AUS 122. Canberra: AIHW.
2. World Health Organization (WHO). Pneumonia fact sheet; October 2011. WHO.
3. The Public Perceptions of Pneumonia research survey. Conducted by Galaxy Research to inform Pneumonia Awareness Week; proudly supported by bioCSL.
4. Department of Health and Ageing. Immunise – Pneumococcal Disease. Last modified 17 January, 2012. Available at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/content/immunise-pneumococcal [last accessed 3 May, 2012].
5. Better Health Victoria and Department of Health – Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit. Pneumococcal disease fact sheet. 2011. Available at http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au [last accessed 20 June, 2012].
6. World Health Organization (WHO). Pneumococcal disease; WHO. Available at http://www.who.int/ith/diseases/pneumococcal/en/index.html [last accessed 10 April 2013].
7. NHMRC, The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 10th Edition, 2013, Chapter 4.13. Available at http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/EE1905BC65D40BCFCA257B26007FC8CA/$File/part4.pdf. [Last accessed 9 April 2013].