Pneumococcal Pneumonia Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
Pneumococcal pneumonia is a type of pneumonia, a condition that is normally caused by a virus, bacteria or even fungus. This particular type typically affects the upper respiratory tract and can migrate to the lungs, the ears, the blood or the nervous system as well
, and is caused from a particular bacterium known as streptococcus pneumoniae. It’s also the leading cause of pneumococcal meningitis, a disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the brain, which is one reason why the pneumococcal vaccine is recommended in children and the elderly.
Symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia can appear very suddenly and one of the first signs of this condition is a severe shaking chill. This can be followed by shortness of breath and chest pain and can also be accompanied by fever, a cough and also rapid breathing. Other less common symptoms include tiredness and a headache as well as muscle aches, nausea and vomiting.
The most common form of treatment for pneumococcal pneumonia is antibiotics however one of the most interesting and rather scary facts about pneumonia is that sometimes, antibiotics prove less effective than they should be. This is because the bacteria responsible for pneumococcal pneumonia can sometimes be resistant to the types of antibiotics commonly used, and this phenomenon is only exacerbated by the fact that worldwide, antibiotics are becoming much less effective due to overusage. However, antibiotics are still the main source of treatment for bacterial sourced cases of the condition, including pseudomonas pneumonia, another variant of the disease. Another part of treatment involves use of the pneumonia severity index. This is typically reserved for use to determine the survival rate of afflicted individuals, however it’s becoming more and more popular as a tool to determine whether or not hospitalization is necessary in some individuals. This type of analysis however is generally reserved for the very old or very young who are at a much higher risk if contracting pneumococcal pneumonia.
Preventing the spread of pneumonia is difficult; however there are some common sense approaches to keeping yourself from catching this transmissible condition. For instance, washing your hands is of course good practice to avoid any type of communicable illness. Additionally, avoiding those who are sick is another way to help prevent the spreading of pneumococcal pneumonia. However, likely the best prevention method is vaccination and it’s recommended for people who are over 65, children under 5 years old and anyone who has a compromised immune system or a history of serious diseases or health conditions.
If you have any of the symptoms of this or any type of pneumonia, seek medical assistance immediately. Prompt medical care and the immediate starting of antibiotics are critical to successful treatment and preventing complications that can result from this type of pneumonia such as bacteremia. You should also discuss the vaccination with your health care provider, particularly if you are in groups that are considered high risk.