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Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers face the music and dance

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With musical classic The Band Wagon, airing on BBC Two today [Saturday, April 30], Astaire is seen at his prime after first finding fame as ayoung boy. One of his most famous dance partners was Ginger Rogers, who he starred alongside for nine films. Once supposedly dismissed as a character who: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Balding. Can dance a little,” Astaire made his mark on the glory days of Hollywood.

Towards the end of his life, ventolin inhaler for sale Astaire was admitted to Century City Hospital in Los Angeles, where his second wife and former jockey Robyn Smith stayed by his side.

When his death was announced, Smith released a statement saying: “I just got in bed with him and put my arms around him and he died.

“He had a very complete and full life. He was a very happy man.”

Pneumonia is described as an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. These air sacs may fill with fluid or pus which causes a cough with phlegm and or pus. The term “double pneumonia” is used when the condition affects both of the lungs.

Although there are various different causes of pneumonia (Johns Hopkins Medicine states there are more than 30), the most common cause is community-acquired pneumonia.

This is when pneumonia affects somebody who is not already in hospital, and is caused by a bacterium known as Streptococcus pneumoniae. It usually occurs when the body is weakened in some way, such as by illness, poor nutrition, old age, or impaired immunity, and the bacteria are able to work their way into the lungs.

In addition, when young infants or individuals older than 65 years of age, the condition is most serious.

Community-acquired pneumonia is much less contagious than flu or a cold, because most people’s immune systems can kill the bacteria that causes it before they can cause an infection.

Other types of community-acquired pneumonia include:

  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia – the condition develops when individuals are in hospital
  • Viral pneumonia – common causes include the flu.
  • Aspiration pneumonia – the condition is caused by food going down the wrong way or inhaling vomit and other harmful substances.
  • Fungal pneumonia – a rare form in the UK caused by fungi.

Due to the potentially serious nature of the condition, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Most commonly these include:

  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
  • Confusion or changes in mental awareness (in adults age 65 and older)
  • Cough, which may produce phlegm
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Lower than normal body temperature (in adults older than age 65 and people with weak immune systems)
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Shortness of breath.

In order to receive a proper diagnosis and necessary treatment, individuals will need to see a medical professional. This usually involves a chest examination and an X-ray in order to distinguish between pneumonia and a chest infection.

Due to the severity of the condition it is important to get treatment quickly. Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia that you have, but in most cases can be treated at home using antibiotics.

Other possible treatments may include eating well, increasing fluid intake, getting rest, oxygen therapy, pain medicine, fever control, and cough-relief medicine if the individual’s cough is particularly severe.

The Mayo Clinic explains that for those in “high-risk” groups – children two years old or younger and people aged 65 and over – complications of the condition can develop, even with treatment.

These complications can include the following:
Bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia). Bacteria that enter the bloodstream from your lungs can spread the infection to other organs, potentially causing organ failure.

Difficulty breathing. If your pneumonia is severe or you have chronic underlying lung diseases, you may have trouble breathing in enough oxygen. You may need to be hospitalised and use a breathing machine (ventilator) while your lung heals.

Fluid accumulation around the lungs (pleural effusion). Pneumonia may cause fluid to build up in the thin space between layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity (pleura). If the fluid becomes infected, you may need to have it drained through a chest tube or removed with surgery.

Lung abscess. An abscess occurs if pus forms in a cavity in the lung. An abscess is usually treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, surgery or drainage with a long needle or tube placed into the abscess is needed to remove the pus.

After he had passed away, Astaire was buried at Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California, with one of his last requests being to thank his fans for the many years of their support.

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