Pneumococcal Disease Vaccine For Children
The risk of infection in young children, especially those under two years of age, can be substantially reduced with a vaccine called Prevenar 13. Under the National Immunisation Program Schedule, this vaccine is free for all infants at two, four and 12 months of age. Extra pneumococcal vaccine is given to children with certain medical risk factors at six months and four to five years of age.
How Is Pneumonia Treated
Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have. Most of the time, pneumonia is treated at home, but severe cases may be treated in the hospital. Antibiotics are used for bacterial pneumonia. Antibiotics may also speed recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia and some special cases. Most viral pneumonias dont have specific treatment. They usually get better on their own.
Other treatment may include eating well, increasing fluid intake, getting rest, oxygen therapy, pain medicine, fever control, and maybe cough-relief medicine if cough is severe.
Who Is At Risk
Pneumococcal disease occurs around the world but is more common in low- and middle-income countries where fewer people get pneumococcal vaccine. In more temperate climates, pneumococcal disease is more common during winter and early spring. In tropical climates with dry and rainy seasons, pneumococcal disease tends to occur more in the dry season.
Travelers are more likely to get pneumococcal disease if they spend time in crowded settings or in close contact with children in countries where pneumococcal vaccine is not routinely used.
Recommended Reading: What Can I Take For Pneumonia
Treating Pneumonia In Children
The effectiveness of pneumonia treatment depends on whether the cause was a virus or bacteria. Doctors typically rely on a physical exam and tests, including chest x-rays and blood tests, to diagnose pneumonia. They may request a sputum culture to confirm the presence of a lung infection and use a pulse oximeter to measure your childâs oxygen levels.
If a virus caused a childâs pneumonia, treatment options are more limited. Doctors may recommend rest and medication to keep the childâs fever down if one is present. It’s recommended not to give cough suppressants with codeine or dextromethorphan to children with pneumonia. Coughing helps expel excess mucus and clears the lungs.
Antibiotics can be effective in cases where bacteria cause pneumonia. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics to treat your childâs pneumonia, you should give them the recommended dosage as often as your doctor directs you to. Avoid the temptation to stop using them once your child shows improvement. There may still be bacteria lingering in your childâs lungs, and if you stop giving antibiotics to your child, it may allow for pneumonia to return.
What Other Problems Can Pneumonia Cause
Sometimes pneumonia can cause serious complications such as:
- Bacteremia, which happens when the bacteria move into the bloodstream. It is serious and can lead to .
- Lung abscesses, which are collections of pus in cavities of the lungs
- Pleural disorders, which are conditions that affect the pleura. The pleura is the tissue that covers the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity.
- Respiratory failure
Also Check: How To Beat Pneumonia At Home
Causes Of Pneumonia In Children
Children are vulnerable to developing pneumonia from viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms. Pneumonia often develops as a complication of another disease like the flu or a viral upper respiratory infection. Our nose and throat passageways allow microorganisms to get into our airways and infect the air sacs of our lungs.
Respiratory syncytial virus is a virus often found in children with pneumonia who are 5 years old or younger. Children younger than 1 year old have an increased risk of pneumonia if they are exposed to secondhand smoke. The following conditions can make children more likely to get pneumonia from microorganisms:
- Compromised immune system
- Chronic health issues like cystic fibrosis or asthma
- Lung or airway problems
What Is The Staging For Pneumonia
A type of pneumonia, called lobar pneumonia, has 4 stages of development and resolution which include:
Also Check: What To Do For Viral Pneumonia
What Happens When You Get Pneumococcal Disease
Pneumococcal disease can lead to many different illnesses. What illness you get depends on where the bacteria goes in your body. If the bacteria spreads to your lungs, it can cause pneumonia. The bacteria can also get into the bloodstream and cause sepsis. If the bacteria gets to the central nervous system, it can cause meningitis. All forms of pneumococcal disease are very dangerous.2-4
Early Stage Of Pneumonia
The symptoms of the first stage of pneumonia, or what you might expect in the first 24 hours, are very important to understand. When pneumonia is detected at this stage, and promptly treated, the severity of the disease and potential complications may be reduced.
Most commonly, lobar pneumonia begins suddenly with fairly dramatic symptoms.
With pneumonia , the tiniest airways of the lungs are affected. Since this is where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place , pneumonia may cause symptoms related to lower oxygen levels in the body. In addition, lobar pneumonia often extends to the membranes surrounding the lungs , which can lead to particular symptoms.
Read Also: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Pneumonia
Pneumococcal Disease Is Deadly
Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness and death among Australian children under two years of age and persons over 85 years of age. The rates are highest among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, especially in central Australia. Pneumococcal disease is also an important cause of pneumonia in adults 65 years of age or over. Older people are especially at risk of death from this disease. It is estimated to kill around one million people worldwide every year. While pneumococcal disease can occur at any time, infections seem to be more common during winter and spring. Young children, older people and people with impaired immune systems are among the most susceptible.
Preventing Pneumonia In Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinating children with the PVC13 vaccine. It helps prevent pneumonia from developing in children 2 years old and younger. The â13â in the PVC13 vaccine means it defends children against 13 variations of the pneumococcal disease. You should discuss the vaccine option with your childâs healthcare provider. Itâs also a good idea to verify that your child is up-to-date on all other recommended vaccines for their age group.
Children can start receiving doses of the PVC13 vaccine when they are two months old. After that, they should receive booster shots periodically until they turn 15 months old. It only takes one dose of PVC13 to immunize children between the ages of 2 and 5 who have not previously received the vaccine. The same goes for children aged 2 to 18 who have certain medical conditions and have never gotten a PVC13 vaccination.
The pneumococcal polysaccharide pneumonia vaccine is also recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 5 who have a higher risk of developing pneumonia, including those who have:
- Heart disease
Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Fully Recover From Pneumonia
Bacterial Vs Viral Pneumonia Symptoms
Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia. Fungi and parasites can sometimes cause it.
When the cause is bacteria, the illness can come on either slowly or quickly. It tends to be more serious than other types.
When a virus causes your pneumonia, youâre more likely to notice symptoms over several days. Early signs will look like the flu — such as fever, dry cough, headache, and weakness — but get worse in a day or two.
Factsheet About Pneumococcal Disease
Pneumococcal diseases are symptomatic infections caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae , commonly referred to as pneumococci. The term invasive pneumococcal disease is used for more severe and invasive pneumococcal infections, such as bacteraemia, sepsis, meningitis and osteomyelitis, in which the bacterium can be isolated from normally sterile sites. Pneumococcal infections and IPDs are major causes of communicable disease morbidity and mortality in Europe and globally, with the highest burden of disease found in young children and the elderly. A large proportion of IPD is vaccine preventable.
Recommended Reading: Pneumonia With Blood Clots In Lungs
Risk Of Pneumococcal Disease
Certain groups are at increased risk of infection, including:
- children aged under two years
- children under five years with underlying medical conditions predisposing them to invasive pneumococcal disease
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, especially in central Australia
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people aged 65 years and over
- people with weakened immune systems
- people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer or kidney disease
- people who have impaired spleen function or have had their spleen removed
- people who smoke tobacco.
How Can You Tell If You Have A Pneumococcal Infection
The symptoms of a pneumococcal infection depend on what part of the body is affected. The diagnosis is made by finding pneumococcus in blood, the infected fluid or tissue.
- Meningitis is a serious disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.
- Symptoms include high fever, and loss of appetite, stiff neck, headache, vomiting, fussiness , and difficulty waking up .
- Meningitis can cause seizures, deafness or brain damage.
- Without treatment, all children who get this disease will die.
- Bacteremia is caused when bacteria get into the blood.
- Symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, fussiness, and loss of appetite.
- If the bacteria multiply rapidly, they may cause shock and damage to many parts of the body.
- Infection may spread from the blood to bone or joints.
- People with pneumonia have trouble breathing.
- Children who get pneumonia from the pneumococcal germ get ill very quickly.
- They will have a fever, a cough, chest pain and may bring up thick yellow or green mucous.
- Many different germs can cause ear infections. Pneumococcus is the most common cause.
- Middle ear infections usually start a few days after the start of a cold.
- They cause ear pain, lack of energy, fussiness, waking up at night, and a lack of appetite. Some children get a fever.
Each of these infections can also be caused by other germs. The pneumococcal vaccine will not protect your child from infections that are caused by another germ.
Don’t Miss: Is The Pneumonia Vaccine A Live Virus
Immediate Action Required: Go To A& e Or Phone 999 If:
- you have a blotchy, red rash that does not fade or change colour when you place a glass against it
- you experience drowsiness or confusion
- you have a seizure or fit
- you have an inability to tolerate bright lights known as photophobia
- you have a stiff neck
- you have a rapid breathing rate
- your baby becomes floppy and unresponsive or stiff with jerky movements
- your baby is becoming irritable and not wanting to be held
- your baby is crying unusually
You should dial 999 immediately and request an ambulance if you think you or someone around you has bacterial meningitis.
Diagnosis Of Pneumococcal Disease
Since other types of bacteria can cause similar infections, it is important to test specifically for the presence of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Depending on the symptoms, pneumococcal disease is diagnosed using a number of tests, including:
- physical examination
- hospital admission in severe cases for example, meningitis.
Don’t Miss: Who Is Eligible For The Pneumonia Vaccine
Recognition Of The Toxin Pneumolysin
A cholesterol-dependent cytolysin named pneumolysin is a critical virulence factor for pneumococci,18 but recent work has highlighted that both the direct effects of the toxin on cells and the immune response to the toxin may influence pathogenicity. Moreover, an increasing number of pattern-recognition receptors are shown to be involved in the innate immune response to pneumolysin. The capacity of pneumolysin to form membrane pores that lyse cells and to activate complement T cells, neutrophils, or macrophages at sites of infection is well established. Recent attention has focused on the pattern-recognition receptors involved in sensing pneumolysin.
Optimizing Macrophage Effector Functions
Colonization and microaspiration of upper airway contents are frequent events, and clearance of colonizing bacteria can take a few weeks.14 The comparative infrequency of pneumonia suggests that efficient host responses must operate in the lower airway to protect against pneumonia. A number of components, including the cough reflex, the mucociliary escalator, and mucous and humoral factors in the lower airway, protect the airway from bacteria however, cell-mediated host defense is critical. AMs are the resident phagocytes that clear bacteria from the lower airway and clear finite numbers of bacteria when these reach the lower airway.32 The capacity of the AMs to clear bacteria can be overwhelmed in the face of medical comorbidities that alter their clearance capacity for bacteria, such as COPD.33 They are also compromised by coexistent viral infections, in particular HIV.34 Factors such as cigarette smoking that result in alternative as opposed to classic activation of AMs also compromise the macrophages capacity to clear bacteria.35
Don’t Miss: Medication For Bronchitis And Pneumonia
What Is Pneumococcal Pneumonia
Simply put, itâs an infectious, potentially serious bacterial lung disease. The symptoms can hit without warning and can take you out of your routine for weeks. It could even put you in the hospital.
Did you know there is more than one type of pneumonia? Although pneumonia always means an infection of the lungs, there are actually many different types. Two of the most common types are viral and bacterial.
The most common type of bacterial pneumonia is called pneumococcal pneumonia.
Pneumococcal pneumonia can be serious. Symptoms can come on quickly, and can include cough, fatigue, high fever, shaking chills, and chest pain with difficulty breathing. Some symptoms can last weeks or longer.
In severe cases, pneumococcal pneumonia can lead to hospitalization. Or in some cases, even death.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is not a cold or the flu. It is a bacterial lung disease, while the flu and cold are caused by viruses.
In some cases, pneumococcal pneumonia can cause part of your lung to fill up with mucus, making it hard to breathe.
You can catch pneumococcal pneumonia through coughing or close contact. It can strike anywhere, anytimeâand may hit quickly and without warning.
Itâs not just old and unhealthy people who are at risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. If you are 65 or older, you may be at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, even if you are otherwise healthy. Thatâs because as you get older, your immune system becomes less able to respond to infections.
Treatment Of Pneumococcal Infections
Penicillin is used for most pneumococcal infections. It is usually taken by mouth but, if the infection is severe, may be given intravenously.
Pneumococci that are resistant to penicillin are becoming more common. Thus, other antibiotics, such as ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, fluoroquinolones , vancomycin, lefamulin, or omadacycline, are often used. Vancomycin is not always effective against meningitis caused by pneumococci. Thus, people with meningitis are usually given ceftriaxone or cefotaxime, rifampin, or both, as well as vancomycin.
Don’t Miss: What Are The First Signs Of Pneumonia
How The Bacteria Is Spread
S. pneumoniae enter the human body through the nose and mouth, and an infection can be spread in the same way as a cold or the flu. This can be through:
- direct contact for example, when someone coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets of fluid that contain the bacteria are launched into the air and can be breathed in by others
- indirect contact for example, if infected droplets of fluid are transferred from someone’s hand to a door handle, someone else who touches the handle may become infected with the bacteria if they then touch their nose or mouth
It’s important to emphasise that pneumococcal infections are far less contagious than a cold or flu. This is because most people’s immune systems are able to kill the bacteria before they have the opportunity to cause an infection.
Outbreaks of pneumococcal infections can sometimes occur in environments where there are many people who have poorly functioning immune systems, such as in children’s nurseries, care homes for the elderly and homeless shelters.
Signs Of Pneumonia Vaccine Side Effects
As with any vaccination, there are potential side effects of the pneumonia vaccination. Common side effects include:
Injection site soreness
As with most shots and vaccinations, you may experience pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site .
Less than 1% of people who receive a pneumonia vaccine develop a fever. If your temperature is above 100.4 F , you have a fever.
Irritability is a feeling of agitation. When you’re feeling irritable, you’re more likely to become frustrated or upset. In children, this may present as fussiness.
Recommended Reading: Can You Have Pneumonia Without Knowing
What Are The Complications
- Pneumonia: Many people in the U.S. who get pneumococcal pneumonia need to be cared for in the hospital. About 5 to 7% of people with this type of pneumonia will die. The elderly have a higher risk of death.
- Blood infections: As many as 20% of people who get a blood infection from this disease die. The death rate may be as high as 60% for the elderly.
- Bacterial meningitis: Pneumococcal meningitis infections cause more than 50% of all bacterial meningitis cases in the U.S. About 8% of children and 22% of adults with pneumococcal meningitis will die.
- Middle ear infections. This is the most common reason for visits to a pediatrician in the U.S. Complications of these ear infections can lead to meningitis. It can also cause infection in a bone behind the ear.