Pneumococcal infections are caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniaebacteria, and range from mildto severe.
There are more than 90 different strains ofStreptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) bacteria (known as serotypes), some of which cause more serious infection than others.
The symptoms of a pneumococcal infection can vary, depending on the type of infection you have. Common symptoms include:
Pneumococcal infections usually fall into one of two categories:
Non-invasive pneumococcal infections include:
Invasive pneumococcal infections include:
Peoplewith a weakened immune system are most at risk of catching a pneumococcal infection. This may be because:
Other at-risk groups include:
Rest, fluids and over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol are usually advised.
More invasive types ofpneumococcal infections can be treated with antibiotics ,either at home or in hospital.
The PCV protects against 13 types of S. pneumoniae bacteria, and the PPV protects against 23 types. It is thought that the PPV is around 50-70% effective at preventing more serious types of invasive pneumococcal infection.
Read about pneumococcal vaccination and when pneumococcal vaccinationis used .
The outlook for pneumonia in people who are otherwise healthy is good, but the infection can lead to serious complications in people who are very young, very old or have another serious health condition.
However, due to the introduction of the PCV in 2002, the number of people dying from complications that arise from pneumonia has fallen to around 7%.
The outlook for other types of invasive pneumococcal infections such as bacteraemia is generally good, although there is about a1 in 20 chance that bacteraemia will trigger meningitis as a secondary infection.
Pneumococcal infections are caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, and range from mild to severe.
Your symptoms will vary, depending on the type of pneumococcal infection you have. Symptoms include fever, chills and a headache.
There are more than 90 different strains of S. pneumoniae, and some are much more likely to cause serious infection (virulent) than others.
There are several ways to diagnose pneumococcal infections, and the tests you have will depend on your symptoms.
The treatment you receive depends on whether you have an invasive or non-invasive pneumococcal infection. Antibiotics may be used to treat a serious infection.
Children under two should receive the PCV as part of their childhood immunisation schedule. Simple hygiene precautions can also help to prevent infection.