Pneumococcal is a type of pneumonia that comes about after the bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia invades the lungs causing an infection. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a very serious illness that has claims thousands of lives in the United States every year. It is therefore very important to understand this condition so that you can treat it early enough and prevent it in the future. This article talks about pneumococcal pneumonia and the best way to treat and prevent it.
What is Pneumococcal Pneumonia?
As aforementioned, pneumococcal pneumonia is caused by bacteria, which live in your upper respiratory tract. Anybody is at risk of developing this health condition because it is spread through coughing. Nevertheless, it is very common among the elderly and individuals with a suppressed immune system. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a very serious health conditions and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early, especially in infants and the elderly. Pneumococcal pneumonia outbreaks are very rare. However, the people living in crowded areas are the ones at high risk of contracting it in case an outbreak happens.
How is Pneumococcal Pneumonia Spread?
Pneumococcal pneumonia is passed to a healthy individual in case an infected person talks, sneezes, or coughs droplets that contain the infectious agents into the air. If the healthy person breathes in this air, he might contract the disease. The infection can also be passed after contact with hands, tissues, handkerchiefs, and other things filled with infected throat and nose discharges. Pneumococcal pneumonia is mostly spread during winter, and can be triggered by other viral infections.
Symptoms of Pneumococcal Pneumonia
Some symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia include coughing, high fever, chest pains, and shortness of breath. Other signs such as nausea, headaches, tiredness, vomiting, and muscle aches may also be witnessed.
If you start showing the aforementioned signs, it is important to visit your doctor so that you can have your health condition diagnosed. Your healthcare provider can diagnosed pneumococcal pneumonia based on symptoms, lab tests, chest x-ray, and physical exam. The disease can also be diagnosed when the streptococcus pneumonia bacteria is found in your bloodstream, lung fluid, or saliva.
Pneumococcal Pneumonia Treatment
If you are found to have contracted pneumococcal pneumonia, your healthcare provider will prescribe certain antibiotics to treat the condition. You should start seeing the symptoms reduce within 24 hours after your start taking your medication. If this does not happen, it could mean that the bacteria is resisting the medicine you are taking. You should consider going back to your physician if things start becoming worse.
The best form of prevention for this health condition is to get the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. Vaccines are readily available for all age groups. Nevertheless, you should consider getting the vaccine if you are 65 years or older, or you have a long-term health issues like diabetes, lung disease, sickle cell, or hear disease. You should also consider being vaccinated if your immune system is lowered due to kidney failure, damaged sleep, cancer treatment, or HIV/AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that all children under 59 months old should get the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine.
Is the Pneumococcal Pneumonia Vaccine Safe?
Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine is safe and highly effective in preventing any risk of contracting pneumococcal pneumonia. Although some individuals develop some mild side effects after getting the vaccination, they are usually minor and last a short time. Some common side effects include soreness and swelling around the injection site. Other people may also experience fever and muscle. Like any other medication, there are concerns that serious issues can occur after the vaccination. Nevertheless, only a few cases have been reported. Furthermore, the potential risks of the vaccination are minor compared to the risk of pneumococcal pneumonia.
The streptococcus pneumonia bacteria causes pneumococcal disease, a condition linked to pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infection. The bacteria is spread through sneezing, coughing, or direct contact like kissing. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a serious health condition, as it claims thousands of lives in the United States each year. Older people are most likely to succumb to pneumococcal pneumonia. Nevertheless, adults and children with other health issues are also at a high risk of death from this disease. If you happen to notice any signs of pneumococcal pneumonia, you should consider reaching out to your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. However, you need to note that the best way to prevent this pneumonia is to get the vaccination. So, consider getting vaccination for yourself and your family to minimize any risk of infection.