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Facts for Life

Coughs, colds and more serious illnesses

Why it is important to share and act on this information


Coughs, colds, sore throats and runny noses are common in the lives of children. Usually they are no cause for alarm.

In some cases, however, coughs are danger signs of more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. Pneumonia is the world's leading cause of death in girls and boys under age 5, closely followed by diarrhoea. Around 2 million children die from pneumonia every year. Pneumonia kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. One out of every five deaths of children under age 5 is caused by this respiratory infection.

All girls and boys have the right to quality health care to make sure that respiratory infections and other illnesses are accurately diagnosed and treated before it is too late.