Hillary Clinton has pneumonia, how it's treated

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia: What is it

ANNANDALE, Va. (WUSA*9)--Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been diagnosed with pneumonia.  While pneumonia is very treatable, it is also a very serious diagnosis.

In the United States, about 50-thousand people die from pneumonia every year.  This is according to the Centers for Disease Control. Many of these deaths could be prevented with timely treatment.  
 It's the video of Hillary Clinton leaving a September 11th event in New York City at Ground Zero that is grabbing all the attention. A stumble caught on camera as she was helped into a waiting van. Her physician Dr. Lisa Barak, said the episode was the result of dehydration. Then on Sunday the campaign revealed Clinton has pneumonia, a diagnosis made by her doctor last Friday.
"Sometimes it can cause shortness of breath, sometimes weakness," says Dr. Scott Vejcik, a family practitioner at INOVA Primary Care in Annandale, Virginia.  He has never treated Secretary Clinton, but says if she is being treated on an outpatient basis with antibiotics, she probably has a mild form of pneumonia.  Plus allergies—which Clinton suffers from-- don't help.  

MORE:  Dr. Scott Vejcik, M.D.
Last week Clinton was caught on camera several times having to stop talking in order to cough. Once during a speech on Labor Day and later on her campaign plane.

According to the Mayo Clinic, pneumonia is an infection of the lungs where the air sacs become inflamed, maybe filling with fluid.  It can range from mild to life threatening if left untreated too long and is most serious for infants, young children and adults over 65.  Clinton is 68
"Their immune system can be more compromised," explains Dr. Vejcik.  "Anyone who has a couple years under their belt can appreciate they are not quite as robust.  They don't bounce back as quickly.  Their lungs are a little bit more used."
Dr. Vejcik says  it can take 10 to 14 days to fully recover from pneumonia.  Sometimes longer if you are over the age of 65.

Hillary Clinton is temporarily off the campaign trail.  She has been advised to get plenty of rest in addition to the antibiotics.  Dr. Vejcik says patients are also advised to establish a healthy pattern of eating, nothing heavy, and avoiding physical activity.  He says some patients may also be given some extra breathing treatments to help open the lungs.
Dr, Vejcik adds, anyone over the age of 65, should get a pneumonia vaccine.  He also recommends people between the ages of 40 to 65 consult their physician about taking the vaccine if they are smokers, suffer from diabetes, kidney failure, COPD, or rheumatoid arthritis where they are taking steroids.

Dr. Vejcik also encourages people to "Please get a flu shot.  Please," in order to prevent pneumonia.

(© 2016 WUSA)


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