Monday, December 7, 2009

CDC warns about rise in serious pneumococcal disease 12/07/09 2:33pm

(CIDRAP News) - In a worrisome but not unexpected pandemic-related development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that it is seeing a spike in serious pneumococcal disease, particularly in younger patients.

Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters at a press...

What is Pneumococcal Disease?

What is pneumococcal disease?

Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae) that can attack different parts of the body. The bacteria can cause serious infections of the lungs (pneumonia), the bloodstream (bacteremia) and the covering of the brain (meningitis).

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a serious illness, accounting for 10 percent to 25 percent annually of all pneumonias. Nationally, about 40,000 persons die as a result of pneumococcal pneumonia each year, but the illness is particularly dangerous for the very young, the elderly and persons with certain high-risk conditions. For example, among people 65 years of age and older with pneumococcal pneumonia, about 20 percent to 30 percent develop bacteremia. At least 20 percent of those with bacteremia die from it, even though they receive antibiotics.

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