Ed Aschoff’s Death: How Often Does Pneumonia Kill Healthy Adults?

Kevin Mwanza
Written by Kevin Mwanza
ESPN reporter, Ed Aschoff, died after being treated briefly for pneumonia, highlighting how deadly the infection can be, even for healthy young people. Photo by EVG photos from Pexels

The death of ESPN reporter, Ed Aschoff, after being treated briefly for pneumonia, shocked the world and highlighted how deadly the infection can be, even for otherwise healthy young people.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that causes the air sacs to become inflamed and to fill with pus and fluid. Different types of pneumonia affect the seriousness of the infection, according to Medical News Today.

The 34-year-old Aschoff tweeted of his infection on Dec. 5 only to be announced dead a few weeks later on Dec. 24.

The infection is often associated with children, the elderly and smokers.

It is also common among people with weakened immune systems but can strike indiscriminately, even among healthy young adults, according to Dr. Humberto Choi, a pulmonologist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

“This is an example that anyone can get pneumonia, and it can be severe, even when that person is in good health,” Choi told NBC News. Choi was not involved in treating Aschoff’s infection.

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Choi, who works in an intensive care unit, said that pneumonia is one of the leading causes of patients’ needing intensive care. The inflammation can be overwhelming, he said, and patients may need oxygen and life support.

Pneumonia has killed at least three people this holiday season, including ESPN reporter Aschoff and two young people in Chattanooga.