As temperatures plummet, elderly advised to take careNighttime temperatures have definitely become chillier than few weeks ago. During such times, when temperatures during the day and night differ sharply, doctors say elderly people should be especially cautious to avoid catching pneumonia.
Park Myung-jae, a doctor at Kyunghee Medical Center, said pneumonia can easily be mistaken for just a cold. Pneumonia is strongly resistant to antibiotics, which can make it difficult to treat.
In most cases, sufferers aged 65 or over could die from the disease if not properly treated, Dr. Park said. He advises that the elderly and patients with chronic ailments such as diabetes avoid crowded places. They should strengthen their immune system through plenty of rest and warm baths, he added.
Pneumonia, the doctor said, is passed by direct physical contact with the carrier or through coughing or sneezing. The patient suffers from a high body temperature that normally exceeds 38 degrees Centigrade, but feels cold at the same time and can have chest pain, Dr. Park said. In the worst cases, a sufferer’s lips and fingernails turn blue.
“It is best for anyone older than 65 to get a flu vaccine shot,” Dr. Park said.
by Ko Jong-kwan