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What is pneumococcal disease?

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Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus. People can be infected with the bacteria, or they can carry it in their throat, and not be ill. Those carriers can still spread it, primarily in droplets from their nose or mouth when they breathe, cough, or sneeze. Depending on what organ or part of the body is infected, pneumococcal disease will cause any of several serious illnesses, including:

  • Bacterial meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord that can lead to confusion, coma, and death as well as other physical effects, such as blindness or paralysis
  • Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs that creates cough, fever, and difficulty breathing
  • Otitis media, a middle ear infection that can cause pain, swelling, sleeplessness, fever, and irritability
  • Bacteremia, a dangerous infection of the blood stream
  • Sinus infections

From: Pneumococcal Vaccine WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC: "Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Pneumococcal Disease In-Short."

CDC Media Information: "CDC Says Immunizations Reduce Deaths From Influenza and Pneumococcal Disease Among Older Adults."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on November 09, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC: "Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Pneumococcal Disease In-Short."

CDC Media Information: "CDC Says Immunizations Reduce Deaths From Influenza and Pneumococcal Disease Among Older Adults."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on November 09, 2017

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How common is infection with pneumococcal disease?

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