World Pneumonia Day: How Pneumonia Affects the Body


Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vikas Kumar Sharma

General Health

4 min read


On World Pneumonia Day 2022, let us take the initiative to educate ourselves about this deadly disease. The main intention behind setting a theme every year is to focus on various factors affecting pneumonia and promote the 'Stop Pneumonia' initiative. 

Key Takeaways

  • Every year, World Pneumonia Day focuses on a theme to spread awareness at the global level
  • World Pneumonia Day has been observed since 2009 by WHO and UNICEF
  • It focuses on efforts to reduce the high death rate caused by falling ill with pneumonia

Know About Pneumonia 

World Pneumonia Day aims to spread knowledge about this disease among the masses. Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection affecting one or both lungs. The main reason for this condition is bacteria, viruses, and fungi invasion into the body. The lungs are built of air sacs and alveoli. Normally, the sacs fill with air whenever the person breathes, whereas, in pneumonia, the bacterial infection leads to inflammation and fills up with fluid or pus. This makes breathing difficult and lowers oxygen intake.

According to a World Health Organisation report, pneumonia is the most prominent infectious cause of mortality in children worldwide. In 2019, a death rate of 14% was reported in children under five. [1] This shows the severity of the disease. Hence to spread awareness on this topic, World Pneumonia Day is observed. 

The severity of the disease depends on many factors, including the cause of the disease, age, and other health conditions. However, it is treatable and may take a few days to recover. Some preventive measures can be taken beforehand to lower the risk. Hence World Pneumonia Day also pays attention to preventative methods. 

Additional Read: Save Lives Clean Your Handscauses of Pneumonia

Symptoms of Pneumonia 

The symptoms of pneumonia may progress slowly within 24 to 48 hours.  

  • Here are a few symptoms that are noticed in this health condition: Dry cough or blood-stained mucus 
  • Variation in breathing, rapid or shallow 
  • Increased heartbeat 
  • Chest pain due to frequent cough or breathing 
  • Loss of appetite 

Cause of Pneumonia 

If you visit the doctor for pneumonia, they will first try to understand its cause. Pneumonia is a contagious disease that may spread from one person to another through a sneeze, cough, airborne droplets, and blood.  

Here are a few common causes of pneumonia: 

  • Streptococcus pneumonia: This is a bacterium that causes pneumonia and spreads through sneezing or coughing 
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b(Hib): This bacterium affects the upper respiratory tract of children and commonly spreads through nasal transfers 
  • Syncytial virus: It's a common, contagious virus that causes infections of the respiratory tract
Additional Read: Yoga Breathing Techniques

World Pneumonia Day -9

How Pneumonia Affects Other Bodily Functions


People with a healthy immune system may easily recover from the condition via treatment, a healthy diet, and rest. Those with HIV and cancer are at a higher risk of experiencing severe pneumonia complications. A weakened immune system is one of the most common reasons for most health conditions. Hence by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, immunity can be kept in check.

Respiratory Problem  

In pneumonia, the lungs get filled with pus and fluid, making oxygen transfer to the blood difficult. It leads to severe health conditions because organs require oxygen to function. If the person is under treatment for severe pneumonia, there are high chances of respiratory failure. Some common symptoms accompanying pneumonia are confusion, anxiety, irregular heart rate, and breathing are common in this condition. 

Heart Problem  

According to a source, people who suffer from pneumonia have a high chance of heart problems. [2] Some possible reasons include decreased oxygen supply, bacteria invasion in the heart, and stress. In addition, older people have a higher probability of developing a heart problem. See a doctor without delay if you find any symptoms like abnormal heart rate, continuous coughing, weight gain, or weakness.

Muscular system  

When the body fights bacterial infections, muscle soreness and weakness are common. In pneumonia caused due to a virus, fever and chills can be experienced when muscle expands and contracts.

Additional Read: World Heart Day

What is the History of World Pneumonia Day? 

The first World Pneumonia Day was held in 2009 with more than 100 organisations representing the interests of children. The organisations came together to raise awareness about pneumonia which mainly infects children. Like every year, World Pneumonia Day is hosted on 12 November. The World Pneumonia Day 2022 theme is different in comparison to previous years.

The theme of World Pneumonia Day 2022 is 'Stop Pneumonia- Every Breath Counts.' This occasion provides a platform to raise awareness and highlights the importance of treatment and prevention.

Although similar to World Pneumonia Day, other days like World Immunization Week highlight the importance of vaccination. World Brain Tumor Day focuses on the risk of brain disease. World COPD Day brings attention to lung health. All these days focus on spreading awareness of various health conditions and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

World Pneumonia Day helps educate people on pneumonia and its effect on the human body. If you are looking for health experts to inquire about health conditions, try Bajaj Finserv Health. Here you can get online doctor consultations at your convenience. 

Published on 10 Nov 2022Last updated on 13 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


Health Videos

Mobile Frame
Download our app

Download the Bajaj Health App

Stay Up-to-date with Health Trends. Read latest blogs on health and wellness. Know More!

Get the link to download the app

Google PlayApp store