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Pneumonia is a severe pulmonary disease and is fatal in around 10 percent of cases.

Your lungs are made up of hundreds of small air sacs and an infection of these sacs will cause a cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty in breathing.

Pneumonia is then an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the small air sacs known as alveoli.   The inflammatory organisms include bacteria, viruses and fungi, all of which can cause pneumonia.

Predisposing factors which make you more susceptible to pneumonias include:

  • Age under 2 years or over 50 years
  • Smoking, drinking,
  • Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Renal failure and liver failure
  • Splenectomy (removal of the spleen)
  • Blood diseases
  • Heart conditions
  • Cancer

Pneumococcal pneumonia is caused by Streptococcus pneumonia (which is also called pneumococcus). It is the most common bacterial pneumonia found in adults, the most common type of community-acquired pneumonia.

Dangerous? A bacterial infection of the blood can be fatal. It often progresses rapidly to sepsis. Symptoms include fever, chills, and reduced alertness.

Sepsis: This is a potentially life-threatening infection response by the body. Symptoms include fever, chills, clammy skin, confusion, a rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, and severe pain.

Meningitis: This is an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that cover the brain and the spinal cord. Symptoms include a stiff neck, a headache, confusion, sensitivity to light, and a fever. However, symptoms can vary, and some may not appear at all.

Pneumonia: This is a serious lung disease. Symptoms include chest pain, difficulty breathing, a cough, a fever, and chills.  But there is a vaccine.

So, who should get Pneumococcal Vaccines? CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for children younger than 2 years and adults 65 years or older. And yes, we have the vaccines.

Vaccination is available from 1 March until 31 May 2020. 

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