Pneumonia Lowdown

The major types of pneumonia--a general term for several kinds of inflammation of the lungs--are bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia and mycoplasma pneumonia. However, only pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria can be prevented with a vaccine.

Here are statistics and other facts about pneumonia (unless otherwise noted, figures are for 1996, the most recent year for which they are available):

* Deaths annually: 83,727.

* Number of emergency department visits: 1.2 million.

* Number of hospital discharges for patients with pneumonia: 1.2 million.

* Cases reported annually: 5.1 million (1995).

* Cases per 100 people reported annually: 2 (1995).

Sources: Johns Hopkins Family Health Book (HarperCollins, 1999), National Center for Health Statistics

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