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Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness in children and adults throughout the world. The disease is caused by a common bacterium, the pneumococcus, which can attack different parts of the body. When bacteria invade the lungs, they cause pneumonia; when bacteria invade the bloodstream, they cause bacteremia; and when they invade the covering of the brain, they cause meningitis. Pneumococci may also cause otitis media (middle ear infection) and sinusitis. Currently there are more than 90 known pneumococcal types; the ten most common types account for approximately 62 percent of invasive disease worldwide.

Anyone can get pneumococcal disease. But some groups are at particularly high risk for pneumococcal disease or its complications. These groups include children less than 5 years of age and persons aged 65 and older and individuals with weak immune systems.

Most effective way of prevention of Pneumococcal infections is to get vaccinated against it. Recommended schedule for young children is at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 12-15 months of age.