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About the Disease

overview

Overview

While pneumonia always refers to an infection of the lungs, there are many different types. The most common type of bacterial pneumonia is called pneumococcal pneumonia.

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a potentially serious lung disease that, in severe cases, can be life threatening. Symptoms can develop quickly and may include fever, shaking chills, and chest pain with difficulty breathing. Certain symptoms, like cough and fatigue, can last for weeks or longer, and can even put you in the hospital.

50 or older? Your risk of being hospitalized after getting pneumococcal pneumonia is 8X greater than younger adults aged 18-49.

Here’s what you should know about pneumococcal pneumonia.

  • It can strike anywhere, anytime and may
    start quickly with little warning
  • Certain symptoms, like cough and fatigue, can last for weeks or longer
  • May result in hospitalization
  • In severe cases, may lead to death
  • Risk increases with age
causes

Causes

Hospitals aren’t the only place you can get pneumonia. In fact, community-acquired pneumonia is actually more common. It affects people as they go about their everyday lives, outside of hospitals or health care settings.

Pneumococcal pneumonia is one type of community-acquired pneumonia. It is caused by common bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Risk increases with age. That’s because the body’s immune system naturally weakens as we get older, making it harder for our bodies to fight off infections and disease.

Even if you’re as young as 50, healthy, active, and take good care of yourself, it’s important to know you can still get pneumococcal pneumonia, anywhere, anytime.

symptoms

Symptoms

Pneumonia is not a cold or the flu. Symptoms like fatigue, chest pain, and difficulty breathing can appear without warning, and can be severe. Certain symptoms, like cough and fatigue, may last for weeks or longer, and can even put you in the hospital.

Tap the graphic to see some of the many ways
pneumococcal pneumonia can affect your body

Symptoms of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Roll over the graphic to see some of the many ways
pneumococcal pneumonia can affect your body.
Tap the buttons to
see symptoms
  • Temperature up to 105° F
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shaking chills
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Productive, phlegmy cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nails can turn blue from lack
    of oxygen in the blood
severity

Severity

Pneumococcal pneumonia symptoms can be serious. Certain symptoms, like cough and fatigue, can last for weeks or longer and can even put you in the hospital.

50 or older? Your risk of being hospitalized after getting pneumococcal pneumonia
is 8X greater than younger adults aged 18-49.

In fact, the average hospital stay for those requiring hospitalization is approximately six days. In severe cases, pneumococcal pneumonia can be life-threatening. It’s the kind of illness you shouldn’t ignore.

It can take weeks before
you feel like
yourself
again. Even then, the
fatigue can
make it hard
to get through the day.

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Are You at Risk?

Your answers will help you understand your risk for pneumococcal pneumonia.

AGE

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Age is one of the primary risk
factors, due in large part to the natural,
age-related decline of the immune
system. Even if you are otherwise
healthy, an important thing to
remember is: if you are age 50 or
older you may be at increased risk for
pneumococcal pneumonia.

CHRONIC CONDITIONS

Expand

Certain chronic conditions
(e.g. diabetes, heart
disease, asthma, or COPD) or a
weakened immune system
can
make the body more vulnerable to
serious illnesses such as
pneumococcal pneumonia.

LIFESTYLE

Expand

Smoking damages fragile lung tissue,
making lungs more vulnerable
to infection.

RESULTS

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AGE

Answer the question to assess your risk

CHRONIC CONDITION(S)

Answer the question to assess your risk

LIFESTYLE

Answer the question to assess your risk

NEXT STEPS

Use the Discussion Guide below to talk about prevention options with your doctor or pharmacist.

View Discussion Guide
Learn About a Vaccination Option

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What You Can Do

What You Can Do

Prevention

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a potentially serious lung infection that, in severe cases, can be life threatening. Symptoms like fatigue, chest pain, and difficulty breathing can appear without warning, and can be severe.

Help protect yourself. Get vaccinated.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to learn if a pneumococcal vaccination is right for you.

Learn about a vaccination option

Treatment

People who catch pneumococcal pneumonia are typically treated with an antibiotic, since the illness is caused by bacteria. Depending on the severity of the pneumonia, either an oral or IV antibiotic is usually prescribed.

Talk to your doctor
or pharmacist about
your risk for
pneumococcal
pneumonia.

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