This year, for the first time, World Pneumonia Day will be held during a global pneumonia pandemic. By November 12, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is expected to cause 1.3 million deaths and by December 31, 1.9 million deaths. If these deaths are counted as lower respiratory infection (pneumonia) by the Global Burden of Disease, SARS-CoV-2 could increase pneumonia mortality rates by >70% in 2020, bringing the annual death toll to 4.5 million. No other infection causes this burden of death.


© 2020 American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Cite as

Awasthi, S., Campbell, H., Dela Cruz, C., Graham, H., Greenslade, L., Jehan, F. & Zar, H. 2020, 'What Does Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Mean for Global Pneumonia Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment?', Chest, 159(2), pp. 486-488. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2020.10.066

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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