Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been suffering with pneumonia. She was diagnosed on Friday 9th September 2016, but the extent of her illness was not revealed to the world until after the 9/11 memorial service, where she was caught on camera stumbling and falling as she left the service surrounded by her aides. Initially it had been reported that she had left the service earlier because she had fallen ill as a result of the high temperature.
Hillary Clinton’s diagnosis has not only brought the Democratic campaign trail to a standstill, but it has also brought the seriousness of pneumonia to the forefront of worldwide news. Pneumonia is characterised by swelling of tissue in the lungs, and it is caused by a bacterial infection. Its symptoms include a dry cough, difficulty breathing, fever, shivering, fatigue, loss of appetite, feeling disorientated and chest pain. According to the NHS, in the UK, pneumonia affects around eight in 1,000 people every year, and it is much more widespread in autumn and winter. Anyone of any age can contract pneumonia, but it is much more common - and much more serious - in certain groups of people. Elderly people are much more susceptible to the bacterial disease, and they tend to required hospital treatment if they suffer from the disease. In fact, in it much more serious for old people and it is one of the leading causes of death for vulnerable groups including the elderly.
However, there are ways to prevent pneumonia even if you are in the at-risk groups. Ensuring you have good standards of hygiene - like catching colds and coughs with a tissue and washing hands regularly - helps to prevents germs from spreading. Also, people at high risk can have the pneumococcal vaccine and flu vaccine. Most importantly, leading a healthy lifestyle significantly reduces the risk of contracting pneumonia. Stopping smoking and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink are steps one can take to reduce the risk, and consuming a healthy and nutritious diet helps to strengthen your immune system, in turn reducing the risk of pneumonia.
While Hillary Clinton is still on the path to recovery at the moment, there are millions of people around the world - especially those in at risk groups and/or living in deprived conditions - who still die from pneumonia every year. It is one of the most serious conditions a person can get but there are ways to treat and prevent the condition.