Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. It can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and even death. The disease is spread through respiratory droplets, making it highly contagious. It can affect people of all ages, but infants, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of getting infected.
Prevention is crucial in combating pneumococcal disease. The most effective way to prevent the disease is through vaccination. In the UK, the pneumococcal vaccine is available free of charge to individuals at high risk of infection, such as young children, older adults, and people with certain medical conditions.
There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines available in the UK: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV). The PCV is given to young children, while the PPV is given to adults and older people. The vaccine can reduce the risk of developing pneumococcal disease and its complications.
Other preventive measures include practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly, covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with sick people.
If diagnosed with pneumococcal disease, prompt treatment is necessary to prevent complications. Antibiotics are the most common treatment option for the disease. The type of antibiotic prescribed will depend on the severity of the infection and the individual's medical history.
In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary, particularly if the infection has spread to other parts of the body. Oxygen therapy and intravenous fluids may also be required to support breathing and hydration.
As a pharmacy, we offer pneumococcal vaccines to eligible individuals. We also provide advice and guidance on preventive measures and treatment options for pneumococcal disease. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect you and your family from this serious infection.