News24

Mandela lung infection common - doctor

2012-12-11 14:29

Johannesburg - Respiratory infections are common among elderly people, a medical expert said on Tuesday, after it was announced that Nelson Mandela, 94, was being treated for a recurring lung infection.

"As one ages, one of the commonest problems of elderly people is chest infection," said Mark Sonderup, a medical doctor and vice-chair of the South African Medical Association.

"It wouldn't be unusual," he said, while adding that it must always be treated seriously.

In rare cases respiratory infections can be fatal and the chances of complications grow if the patient is elderly, has chronic respiratory ailments or suffers from diseases that weaken the immune system.

"Obviously he's got something that's more than just the simple cough and obviously you want to treat it properly, and apparently that's what's being done," said Sonderup, who is not involved in Mandela's treatment.

"If the same patient was under my care I would do the exact same thing," he said of the hospitalisation.

The Nobel Peace laureate spent 27 years in jail for opposing the apartheid government.

During his incarceration he worked in a limestone quarry for 13 years on Robben Island off the Cape Town coast, which may have affected his health in later life.

"Anybody exposed to prolonged periods of inorganic dust such as silica and stuff like that can get chronic lung diseases," said Sonderup.

Mandela's last hospitalisation was in February, when he spent a night in hospital for a minor exploratory procedure to probe persistent abdominal pain.

In January 2011, Mandela had the country on edge when he was admitted for two nights for an acute respiratory infection. He was discharged in a stable condition for home-based care and intense medical monitoring.

Mandela has also had prostate cancer, for which he was successfully treated in 2001.

Comments
  • jbooyse - 2012-12-11 14:34

    The nasty thing about getting old...

      ancbasher - 2012-12-11 15:04

      Watch out for 1 Military hospital. You can pick up a lung infection there...

      shaun.miekle - 2012-12-11 17:20

      This news is now boring

  • sylvester.setati - 2012-12-11 14:41

    I really wish the old man a speedy recovery.we love him

  • fran.aphane - 2012-12-11 14:41

    It is true because in 2009 we nearly lost our grandma due to lung infection that was not healing because a constant bout of flu but she pull through and is now healthy and 99 years old. Get well Tata.

  • jj.jeno.1 - 2012-12-11 14:42

    Thank you and I'm sure he's getting the best possible treatment. People should relax. Get well soon Madiba.

  • chez.kri - 2012-12-11 14:44

    Shoo, its like the country holds its breath everytime the man gets ill. Just shows that despite all the thumbs down my comment is sure to generate, most of S.A still love the great man.

      Suzanne Viljoen - 2012-12-11 17:26

      Yes Chez Kri. most people love Mandela. Full recovery please! I think these thumbs down is maybe white racists or maybe black racists that want other blacks to hate whites more.

  • mefi.boset.56 - 2012-12-11 14:49

    Yea, right, that's what they always all it!

  • machoene.kaizer - 2012-12-11 14:59

    Madiba jst relex u a in gud hands as we knw tat is te best hospital in military.all te preyrs a on u

  • gladness - 2012-12-11 15:10

    This man is tough. He will recover.

  • richard.zanner - 2012-12-11 15:23

    I do not understand the constant attempts to report on the health of Madiba and more so the constant attempt to assure everybody that all is well. The man is 94 and at some point all will not be all well. This is a fact of life. In 100 years from now the entire human population as we know it today will be gone so that means somewhat 5 billion people will be gone in the next 100 years and this includes Madiba. I would prefer that they either report nothing or report openly but I get the sense that here is another cover up.

  • charmain.nel.7 - 2012-12-11 15:29

    i dont care what os wrong with him our white old people that do not have medical aid must go to state hospital who is he better

      Barefoot - 2012-12-11 16:27

      where do old black people go to? bitter aren't we?

      Solly Matipwili - 2012-12-11 16:32

      He is a former President you moron. Do you think that previledges are reserved for white people only?

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-12-11 16:42

      Dyecha the Military Hospital is a State Hospital for the Military Personnel. It's not a Private hospital like the Little Company of Mary for instance, or the Zuid Afrikaans.

      Thabang Moyedi - 2012-12-11 17:52

      @Dyecha what does race have to do with this? anyway ask botha for assistance as he's the only person that might listen to you. by the way he is dead so suck it up and move on.

  • angela.nair.3 - 2012-12-11 15:49

    Getting old - it comes with the territory! S

  • mshiniboys - 2012-12-11 15:52

    What about the lies they have been telling us that he is ok and there is nothing to worry about? ANC is breeding more and more liers now.

      james.strawson.9 - 2012-12-11 16:18

      And that Dakota with a medical team was never on on its way to him when it went down!

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-12-11 16:45

      James trust me, that Medical team plus Medicine in that old Dakota, went down with 11 dead for one old man of 94, whom I might add was Rushed to 1 Mil. Why couldn't they have done that from the word go. 11 lives might have been saved ! You might have noticed not one news report on that crash !

  • Mbuso Siera - 2012-12-11 16:02

    He can still pull trough...he is a strong man though old......wishing u a speedy recovery Madiba....

  • danie.malan - 2012-12-11 16:15

    First they said he was admitted for tests. Now they say he was treated for infection. Why lie in the first instance and not speak the truth?????

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-12-11 16:46

      Because of the plane crash Danie !

  • angela.nair.3 - 2012-12-11 16:16

    Geting old - It comes with the territory! He is lucky that he will be getting the best treatment possible. The passing of a giant? He will get better now - but is he invincible? No he is human - albeit a frail human. He is a good man - he had had a good innings. He will sit at the table of the Gods when its time for him to leave this world!

  • mothibedi.jacob - 2012-12-11 16:43

    modimo abe le wena tata ketla dula kego rapedisa kadi nako tsohle.

  • anton.coetzee.5 - 2012-12-11 16:47

    If it is so common, why does it take 5 days and so many tests to find out what is wrong with him???? Are you guys sure about this?

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-11 17:24

      Hang on while I give Mac Maharaj a call :-D

  • Ivan Nhlamulo Mathe - 2012-12-11 18:27

    May the Lord anoint u with an anointing of healing, Tata. Be well so that u can surpass age 100. We love you.

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