Learning more about pneumonia after ESPN reporter passes away on 34th birthday


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- On Tuesday, ESPN reporter Edward Aschoff died after doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and a rare immune disorder called HLH. That was according to his fiancé, Katy Berteau, on twitter.

Berteau said he was first admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with multifocal pneumonia. She said he was brought back to the emergency room after his symptoms got worse when antibiotics did not work.

He died on his 34th birthday.

Doctors say very young people and the elderly are more likely to get pneumonia. Dr. Kimberly Chernoby, an ER resident at IU Methodist, said it is rare to hear about someone in their 30’s pass away from this.

“It is scary when we discharge patients and we think they are going to be fine but then you hear stories like this,” she said.

It all started after Aschoff covered the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game. He posted on Instagram saying, “Covering the game was a lot of fun. Getting pneumonia…not so much.”

A few weeks later, he passed away.

“The chance of being between the age of 15 and 44, these are from the latest numbers we have from the American Lung Association and dying from pneumonia is less than 1 in 100,000. That means 0.001% of people in that age group die of pneumonia,” said Dr. Chernoby.

She said very young kids and the elderly and people with weakened immune symptoms are more prone to get sick quickly.

“Sometimes [HLH] is passed by families but most commonly, it happens sporadically. So, we don’t know why it occurs. It is usually proceeded by some sort of infection that sets it off,” said Dr. Chernoby.

The most common symptoms of pneumonia are a persistent fever and cough.

“Flu could lead to pneumonia but it is more commonly caused by a bacteria or you can even get a fungus caused by pneumonia,” she said.

Dr. Chernoby said most people can be treated without going to an emergency room. Yet, you should consider going to the hospital if you have trouble breathing or if the symptoms do not improve.

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