Friday, August 14, 2009

What is pneumococcal disease?
Pneumococcal disease caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. The bacteria can invade the lungs, bloodstream and tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord resulting in a number of different illnesses including pneumonia and meningitis.

How is disease transmitted?
Pneumococcal disease can be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or contact with respiratory secretions of an infected person.

Who is at risk of pneumococcal disease?
1) Children below 2 years of age
2) Persons who are compromised due to medical conditions such as cancer or AIDS.
3) Persons who have long-term medical conditions such as diabetes heart diseases, kidney diseases or liver diseases.
4)Elderly above 65 years of age

What are the symptoms of pneumococcal disease?
The symptoms of pneumococcal disease vary depending on the site of infection. Symptoms of pneumonia include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms of meningitis include fever, disorientation, stiff neck and photophobia.

Can pneumococcal disease be prevented?
Pneumococcal disease can be prevented through immunization. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccine:

1) polysaccharide vaccine
2) conjugate vaccine

The polysaccharide vaccine is used in adults and while the conjugate vaccine is used in children.

Source : HPB, Singapre


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