Peter Jones is an intimidating presence for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in front of. The 6ft 7 tycoon has made hundreds of millions out of his business ventures and shrewd investments over the years. Peter may seem invincible, but the industry giant was struck down by pneumonia in 2010.
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is swelling (inflammation) of the tissue in one or both lungs.
“It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection. It can also be caused by a virus, such as coronavirus (COVID-19),” explains the NHS.
According to the health body, the symptoms of pneumonia can develop suddenly over 24 to 48 hours, or they may come on more slowly over several days.
Common symptoms of pneumonia include:
- A cough – which may be dry, or produce thick yellow, green, brown or blood-stained mucus (phlegm)
- Difficulty breathing – your breathing may be rapid and shallow, and you may feel breathless, even when resting
- Rapid heartbeat
- High temperature
- Feeling generally unwell
- Sweating and shivering
- Loss of appetite
- Chest pain – which gets worse when breathing or coughing.
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How to reduce your risk
There are some important things you can do to reduce your risk of pneumonia.
“These are also important to follow if you have previously had pneumonia, to prevent developing it again,” explains the British Lung Foundation (BLF).
According to the BLF, you should avoid smoking to reduce your risk of pneumonia.
“Smokers have an increased risk of developing pneumonia as well as other chest infections – and so do children whose parents smoke,” warns the health body.
When should I see a doctor?
“See your doctor if you have difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent fever of 39 C or higher, or persistent cough, especially if you’re coughing up pus,” advises the Mayo Clinic.
According to the health body, it’s especially important that people in these high-risk groups see a doctor:
- Adults older than age 65
- Children younger than age 2 with signs and symptoms
- People with an underlying health condition or weakened immune system
- People receiving chemotherapy or taking medication that suppresses the immune system.
“For some older adults and people with heart failure or chronic lung problems, pneumonia can quickly become a life-threatening condition,” it warns.
Remember, if you have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, it could be coronavirus (COVID-19).