WHAT IS PNEUMOCOCCAL?
The infection is caused by the baterium streptococcus pneumonia. It is transmitted by direct contact with respiratory secretions from patients and healthy carriers. Especially children under 2 years of age, adults older than 65 years and children with chronic disease at any age are at risk for serious infections.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The bacterium causes lung infection, meningitis, ear infection, sinusitis and bacteremia (invasion of the blood).
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS?
In the year 2000, about 14.5 million children worldwide were affected with serious pneumococcal disease occurred, resulting in about 826 000 deaths in children aged 1-59 months. Certain conditions predispose to a serious infection and children and adults are recommended to receive the vaccination. These are: Previous serious pneumococcal infections, sickle-cell disorder, other hemoglobin diseases, chronic renal failure, chronic liver disease, immunosuppression therapy after organ transplantation or immunosuppressive diseases, absent spleen or dysfunctional spleen, cerebrospinal fluid shunts, diabetes mellitus and HIV infection.