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Pneumococcal disease is the term used to describe infections caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (also called pneumococcus).
• Transmission is by aerosol, droplets or direct contact with respiratory secretions of someone carrying the bacterium.
• Transmission typically involves either frequent or prolonged close contact.
• There is a seasonal variation in pneumococcal disease, with levels peaking in the winter months.
• Globally pneumococcal diseases are a common cause of morbidity and mortality.
• Rates of disease and death are higher in developing countries, with the majority of deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
• Disease is most common in young children and among the elderly
Price: £35 (Per Dose)
The incubation period for pneumococcal disease is not clearly defined but it may be as short as one to three days.
Risk of severe illness
Pneumococcal disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in high-risk groups:
• very young
• impaired immunity
• those with no spleen or non-functioning spleen
Signs and Symptoms
Depends on organ system affected.
Pneumococci are a common cause of acute otitis media. Symptoms may include:
• ear pain
• malaise or weakness
is the commonest serious form of pneumococcal disease. Typically, there is a single rigor, and repeated shaking chills are uncommon. Other common symptoms include:
• chest pain which is worse with deep inspiration
• cough productive of rusty sputum
• shortness of breath, rapid breathing and fast heart rate
• malaise or weakness
is an infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms may include:
• neck stiffness
Pneumococcal bacteremia (without pneumonia)
may involve the following symptoms:
• fast breathing and heart rate
Advice to travellers
• Travel itself does not increase the risk of acquiring pneumococcal infection, however optimal health care facilities may be limited during travel should disease occur.
• Increasing resistance to antibiotics underlines the importance of vaccination.
When to consider the Pneumonia vaccination?
All children should receive pneumococcal vaccines as per the routine British immunisation schedule.
The following high-risk groups should also be vaccinated as per the routine British immunisation schedule:
• from 65 years old
• immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
• asplenia or splenic dysfunction (including due to sickle cell and coeliac disease)
• cochlear implants
• chronic respiratory and heart conditions (such as severe asthma, chronic pulmonary disease, and heart failure)
• chronic neurological conditions(such as Parkinson’s or motor neurone disease, or learning disability)
• chronic kidney disease, including haemodialysis (stage 4 and 5)
• chronic liver conditions
Normally one vaccination is given either under the skin or into a muscle and can be boosted at 5 years depending on risk factors
“I have had persistent neck and shoulder discomfort for some time. Regular visits to my local GP did not help. I was recommended to see Dr Sheila O’Neil who gave me a check-up and recommended that I see her physiotherapist colleague, Vicky Graham. I have had three sessions of physiotherapy and have regained full mobility in my neck and shoulders and feel a great deal better. I am very grateful to Dr Sheila and expect, with my husband, to sign up with her as regular patients.”Mrs Johnston
I would like to thank Dr O’Neill very much for her time today: I get the impression that she is a very caring professional, knowledgeable and reassuring, and that she makes explaining conditions crystal clear, which is exactly what is needed for an anxious patient like myself. The staff that I met were all extremely welcoming, well-groomed and helpful too. Add to this the very relaxing and beautifully scented ambience and it was really a truly positive and pleasant visit. Thank you.Linnea Blair
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