BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A literal and figurative stumble for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who has revealed she is suffering from pneumonia, forcing her campaign to cancel a planned two day trip to California.
WJZ’s Marcus Washington spoke with a local doctor, Dr. Michelle Gourdine of Sinai Community Care, about how common pneumonia is and how it’s affects the body’s ability to stay active.
The infection of the lungs is something most people can recover from without complication. Dehydration is not uncommon for someone suffering from the illness.
Clinton left a 9/11 memorial event rather abruptly Sunday morning, and video showed that she was struggling to stay upright as she was helped to a van.
Her physician, Dr. Lisa R. Barback, later said the 68-year-old former secretary of state “became overheated and dehydrated” at the Manhattan ceremony.
“I’m feeling great,” Clinton told onlookers when she emerged from daughter Chelsea Clinton’s apartment later in the day, after resting.
Barback also said Clinton was examined later on at her home in suburban New York and “is now re-hydrated and recovering nicely.”
“In general, it is not inconceivable that someone could get dehydrated with pneumonia,” says Gourdine, who has not treated Clinton personally.
She also says about a million people are diagnosed with the pneumonia each year in the U.S.
Clinton’s diagnosis came on Friday, according to her campaign, but it was not released to the public until after the Sunday incident.
“You could imagine the scenario where someone has pneumonia, is very busy, becomes dehydrated, has to take a break for a while, which we all do, we’re human,” says Gourdine. “That certainly would not cause me, as a physician, concern in general. Not speaking about the secretary specifically, but in general, no, not at all.”
In the wake of the incident, a trip to California has been cancelled.
Dr. Gourdine says that’s a wise move, in her opinion.
“Absolutely, I mean you do want to rest, because one of the symptoms of pneumonia that you see in addition to the pulmonary symptoms is fatigue. And rest, we know is very important in terms of people being able to recover. So that rest in addition to the antibiotics, the fluid themselves help the patient recover.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 50,000 people die every year from pneumonia.
Hillary Clinton told CNN on Monday that she didn’t disclose pneumonia diagnosis immediately because she didn’t “know it was going to be that big a deal”