ESPN reporter’s death prompts questions about dangers of pneumonia

What to know about pneumonia

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A 34-year-old ESPN reporter is dead after battling pneumonia. Oxford, Mississippi native Edward Ashcoff died Christmas Eve. The tweets from Edward Ashcoff show how his illness progressed. First tweeting about being sick on November 23.

By December 5th, he noted that he had multifocal pneumonia.

20 days later, he died on his birthday. His fiancée posted several tweets to his account Thursday evening with more explanation about the progression of his illness.

“It is rare for it to progress and become fatal for a young and otherwise healthy person," explained Dr. Patrick Whipple at MEA in Canton. "I would absolutely say that. Obviously not impossible but very rare.”

Sniffling, coughing, even a low grade fever are all par for the course in the winter months. But says pneumonia has some different red flags.

“Cough’s going to be a really bad cough," noted Whipple. "Frequently it’s productive. Instead of having a low grade fever 99-100, many times you can get a fever 102-103. Whenever you have pain with breathing in or if you have shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.”

If you end up with a pneumonia diagnosis, there are ways it’s typically treated.

“You go get treatment, you get on an antibiotics, it frequently...most frequently actually it will resolve outpatient with oral antibiotics that you can take at home,” said Whipple.

But Whipple says to keep an eye on your symptoms.

“Usually you have pretty good turnaround in 3-5 days after you start antibiotics," he said. "If you’ve started antibiotics and your fever’s not improving after a day or two at the most, or your symptoms are actually getting the very least you should call your medical provider if not going back.”

In severe cases, it can get worse and require a change in antibiotics or a hospital stay.

Adults 65 and older are advised to have two pneumonia vaccines.

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