What is pneumococcal disease?

Overview

Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection. At times, it can lead to severe illnesses like:1


These infections can lead to hospitalisation, long recovery time and other complications2

Ask your doctor about vaccination against pneumococcal disease.


1- Nfid.org. (2019). [online] Available at: Patient Fact Sheet
2 - CDC. About Pneumococcal Disease. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/infection-types.html. Accessed: 08 May 2020.

Causes

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, sometimes referred to as pneumococcus.1

Pneumococcal bacteria spread from person-to-person by direct contact with respiratory secretions, like saliva or mucus. Many people, especially children, have the bacteria in their nose or throat at one time or another without being ill. Doctors call this “carriage” and do not know why it only rarely leads to sickness.


1- CDC About Pneumococcal Disease. Available at www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/risk-transmission. Accessed: 07 May 2020

Symptoms

Symptoms of pneumococcal disease depend on the part of the body that is infected.1

People may have one or a combination of the following:


At times, severe cases of pneumococcal disease can cause serious infection, brain damage and sometimes even result in death1


1 - Pneumococcal Disease (Streptococcus pneumoniae) CDC About Pneumococcal Disease. Available at www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/risk-transmission.html. Accessed: 07 May 2020

Severity

Pneumococcal disease significantly affects patients’ quality of life, and may result in:

Pneumococcal disease (community-aquired pneumonia/ invasive pneumococcal disease) significantly affects patients’ quality of life, causing extra days off work, more frequent visits to primary care providers, and requiring additional medication and assistance from caregivers. Patients with a serious chronic condition who are hospitalised for CAP are also more likely to leave their job. CAP: Community-aquired pneumonia.


1 - Torres A, Blasi F, Dartois N, Akova M. Which individuals are at increased risk of pneumococcal disease and why? Impact of COPD, asthma, smoking, diabetes, and/or chronic heart disease on community-acquired pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease. Thorax. 2015;70(10):984–989. doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2015-206780