Pneumonia is a long infection that results from extreme exposure to cold.

As the world marks the World Pneumonia Day on November 12, experts are warning that the disease will kill nearly 11 million children under five by 2030.

What is worse? About 1.7 million of those deaths will come from Nigeria and India; 700,000 in Pakistan and 635,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Pneumonia has the reputation for being the biggest infectious killer of infants worldwide, yet it is easily treatable.

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According to an AFP report, while in the developed world the severe lung infection mainly affects the elderly, in developing nations such as Nigeria it is children who bear the brunt, with hundreds of thousands dying each year from the disease.

Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia in children include:

  • Labored and rapid breathing (more than 45 breaths a minute)
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Skin, lips, or fingertips that look blue

More than 880,000 children - mainly aged less than two years old - died from pneumonia in 2016 alone.

A new analysis conducted by Johns Hopkins University and the aid group Save the Children using forecasts based on current trends showed more than 10,800,000 under-fives would succumb to the disease by the end of the next decade.

Yet there is some good news.

The study, published on World Pneumonia Day, found that scaling up existing vaccination coverage, coupled with cheap antibiotics and ensuring good nutrition for children could save a total of 4.1 million lives.

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