Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia. Pneumococcal infections usually fall into one of two categories:
Invasive pneumococcal infection is a major cause of disease and death globally and in the UK.
The following is a summary about the disease. For further details speak to your local pharmacist or GP.
The bacteria enter the body through the nose and mouth. The infection can be spread through droplets in the air when coughing or sneezing. It can also be passed from touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the bacteria and then touching the nose or mouth.2
Symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia can vary depending on the type of infection. Some common symptoms include:
Pneumonia is one of more serious symptoms of pneumococcal disease where:
Other serious symptoms include:
The diagnosis of Pneumonia is made primarily through clinical signs and symptoms. However, if unwell seek medical advice promptly.
Refer to “What are the signs and symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia” section for more details.
A full list of signs and symptoms can also be found here.5
Preventative measures to limit the spread of pneumococcal infection include:
There are two types of vaccine to protect against pneumococcal infection:
Both vaccines protect against and provide protection against many but not all types of pneumococcal bacteria.
The vaccines stimulate the body to make antibodies against pneumococcal bacteria. The antibodies provide protection should infection occur.8
Healthy people who are at low risk are also recommended to be vaccinated as it reduces their time off work as well as promoting herd immunity.
Eligible Groups for Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPV)
Further information about risk groups can be found here.
Babies and the pneumococcal vaccine
Babies are routinely vaccinated with the Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) as part of their childhood vaccination programme. They have three injections, which are usually given at:
People who think they may be eligible for the pneumococcal vaccine under the NHS should contact their GP.
This information is taken from trusted third party websites, NaTHNaC (Travel Health Pro) and EMIS (Patient info) and use of all information has been licenced under the Open Government Licence http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/.
Although the materials are being used/replicated under the provisions of the Open Government Licence this in no way represents endorsement of Traveljab.co.uk by NaTHNaC, Emis, Public Health England, the NHS or the Department of Health and Social Care.