Pneumonia Vaccine: December 2006 Archives

A Campaign to Get a Disease Some Respect


pneumonia vaccineOrin S. Levine may be heading for trouble with the Disney people.

At lectures, Dr. Levine, a pneumonia expert, uses a homemade slide that illustrates his predicament — Nemo, the little lost movie clownfish, next to the words “Finding Pneumo.”

Pneumonia is the biggest killer of the world’s children. It kills two million a year, more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. It carries off many adult AIDS victims in poor countries and, even in rich ones, is the final shove through the gates of death for many of the elderly and sick.

If an avian flu pandemic emerges, pneumonia will stroll its killing fields, finishing off the wounded.

Yet it gets no respect.