Pneumococcal Disease

 

1. WHAT IS PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE?

  • Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by a bacteria called
    Streptococcus pneumoniae.1
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae enters your body through the nose. It lives in the nose and throat, where it usually remains harmless. It spreads by sneezing, coughing and close contact.4,5
  • Signs and symptoms can be different depending on the type of infection.4
    It can cause:1,4
  • MENINGITIS
    Infection of the protective layers covering the brain and spinal cord
  • SEPTICAEMIA
    Infection in the bloodstream
  • PNEUMONIA
    Infection of the lungs
  • MIDDLE EAR INFECTION
    Infection of the middle ear also called Acute Otitis Media (AOM)

 

2. WHAT IS PNEUMOCOCCAL MENINGITIS?

Infection of the protective layers covering the brain and spinal cord.6
Symptoms in babies can include:1

  • Loss of appetite
  • Low alertness
  • Vomiting

And in young children:1

  • Stiff neck
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Light sensitivity
  • Confusion

Pneumococcal meningitis needs urgent medical attention as it causes long-term health issues like learning disorders, mild hearing loss or occasional seizures, and other serious consequences.1,6

Almost 1 in 4 children with meningitis can be left with a moderate or severe disability.5

 

3. WHAT IS SEPTICAEMIA?

Infection in the bloodstream.4 Symptoms can include:1,7

  • Fever
  • Rapid breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Low alertness
  • Pale or clammy skin

Medical emergency requiring intravenous fluid and antibiotics. Septicaemia can have serious and life threatening consequences.7

 

4. WHAT IS PNEUMONIA?

Infection of the lungs. Symptoms can include:1,8

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite

In some cases, children may need urgent treatment.8
Pneumonia is a leading cause of deaths in children under five years of age.1

 

5. WHAT IS A MIDDLE EAR INFECTION?

Infection of the middle ear, causing pain and distress.1,4 AOM is the most common childhood illness (affects 4 in 5 children before 3 years of age).9
Symptoms can include:1,10

  • Ear pain
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Hearing loss
  • Discharge from the ear

Ear infections lead to clinic visits for appropriate treatment, because of which parent may have to miss work and can have sleepless nights due to child's suffering.11

Repeat middle ear infections can sometimes cause hearing loss and lead to:10,12

  • Language delay
  • Behavioural problems
  • Poor school performance

 

6. HOW CAN YOU HELP PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE?

There are many ways to help protect your child from these potentially serious infections:1,4

  • Covering mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Washing hands regularly
  • Breastfeeding
  • Smoke-free environment
  • Vaccination

The best way to prevent pneumococcal disease is by Vaccination.1,4

For this reason pneumococcal vaccination is a part of national immunization program of >100 countries. The Government of India is also introducing PCV in UMV with pilot starting in 2017 from 5 states.13

Consult your pediatrician, for more information about pneumococcal vaccination.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumococcal Disease. Symptoms & Complications. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/index.html (Last accessed: Mar, 2017).
  2. Public Health England. Pneumococcal disease. Available at: http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/Pneumococcal/ (Last accessed: Mar, 2017).
  3. World Health Organization. International travel and health – pneumococcal disease http://www.who.int/ith/diseases/pneumococcal/en/ (Last accessed: Mar, 2017).
  4. NHS choices. Pneumococcal infections. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Pneumococcal-infections/pages/introduction.aspx (Last accessed: Mar, 2017).
  5. Public Health Agency of Canada. Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Invasive pneumococcal disease. Available at: http://www.phacaspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/pneumococcal-pneumococcie-eng.php (Last accessed: Mar, 2017).
  6. NHS Choices. Meningitis. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Meningitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx (Last accessed: Mar, 2017).
  7. NHS Choices. Blood Poisoning Available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Blood-poisoning/Pages/Introduction.aspx (Accessed Mar, 2017)
  8. NHS Choices. Pneumonia. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pneumonia/Pages/Introduction.aspx (Last accessed: Mar, 2017).
  9. Monasta L et al. Burden of Disease Cased by Otitis Media:Systematic Review and Global Estimates. PLos ONE 2012;7:4 1–12.
  10. NHS Choices. Acute otitis media. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/otitis-media/Pages/Introduction.aspx (Last accessed: Mar, 2017).
  11. Barber C et al. Acute otitis media in young children – what do parents say? Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2014;78(2):300-6.
  12. Bennett KE et al. Behaviour and developmental effects of otitis media with effusion into the teens. Arch Dis Child 2001;85:91-95.
  13. IVAC 2016 Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/ivac/resources/IVAC-2016-Pneumonia-Diarrhea-Progress-Report.pdf

Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only and does not constitute any medical advise. Please consult your doctor for any question or concern you may have regarding your condition.

IN/SYN/0007/17 Date of Prep: Mar, 2017