Pneumococcal (noo-mo-ca-cul) disease
includes a number of illnesses caused by
common bacteria called Streptococcus
pneumoniae (pneumococcus). These
bacteria may cause diseases that can
affect essential parts of your body. In
some cases, pneumococcal bacteria can
be resistant to certain antibiotics.
Pneumonia (noo-mo-nyah) is an infection of the lungs. You may recognize
the name, but did you know that pneumococcal pneumonia affects more than just
the elderly and hospital patients? Even though some people are at higher risk than
others, anyone can get pneumococcal pneumonia. The reality is that you can get
this type of pneumonia while going about your daily routine.
The cause of bacterial pneumonia isn't always pneumococcal bacteria, but they are
the most common cause. It might also surprise you to learn that not all cases of
pneumonia are the same. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a certain type that can be
serious and should not be ignored.
Pneumococcal pneumonia leads to the hospitalization of more than 300,000
people aged 50 and older each year in the United States. In some cases, it can
even lead to death.
Bacteremia (bac-ter-ee-mee-yuh) is an infection of the blood. The infection can
lead to low blood pressure, which may damage vital organs like the kidneys and
Approximately 1 of every 4 patients with pneumococcal pneumonia will
also develop pneumococcal bacteremia.
An infection of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord, pneumococcal meningitis
(men-in-ji-tis) is a rare but serious disease.
People who have meningitis may face long-term complications like brain
damage, hearing loss, and seizures.