1. D. All of the above
Some health and lifestyle factors may increase the risk for getting pneumococcal pneumonia, but the immune system naturally weakens as we age, even in otherwise healthy and active adults, increasing the chance of getting serious infections, like pneumococcal pneumonia.2 The risk of being hospitalized after getting pneumococcal pneumonia, for adults 65 and older, is 13 times greater than adults younger than 50.1 Other risk factors include:4 chronic diseases (eg, lung, heart, liver or kidney disease, asthma, diabetes and COPD); a compromised immune system (HIV/AIDS or cancer); recent respiratory infections (eg, influenza); history of cigarette smoking or alcoholism
2. B. They develop an infection
Pneumonia always refers to an infection of the lung, but there are many different types of pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common type of bacterial pneumonia,3 is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that can live in the upper respiratory tract and spread to others through coughing.5
3. B. Chest pain
Common symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia include high fever, excessive sweating, shaking chills, coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, and chest pain. Certain symptoms, like cough and fatigue, may last for weeks, or longer.4,6
4. C. Maybe
Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi. The recommended pneumococcal vaccines cover certain more common serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae, but not all.7 I encourage you to talk with your healthcare provider about your risk of pneumococcal pneumonia and whether vaccination is right for you.
5. B. Get the CDC-recommended vaccinations
As people age, so do their immune systems, which increases the risk for infectious diseases.2 Vaccines can help reduce the risk of getting certain diseases. Adults should talk to their healthcare providers to ensure they are up-to-date on the CDC-recommended vaccinations.
Please go now to http://www.allaboutyourboom.com to learn even more about pneumococcal pneumonia, and to discover your own level of risk.
1 Data on file. Pfizer Inc, New York, NY.
2 Weinberger B, Herndler-Brandstetter D, Schwanninger A, et al. Biology of immune responses to vaccines in elderly persons. Clin Infect Dis. 2008; 46:1078-1084.
3 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. What causes Pneumonia? http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/healthtopics/topics/pnu/causes. Accessed September 27, 2017.
4 Mandell G, Bennett J, Dolin R. Mandell, Douglas and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th Edition. Streptococcus Pneumoniae. 2623-2642.
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumococcal Disease: Risk Factors & Transmission.http://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/risk-transmission.html. Accessed September 27, 2017.
6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumococcal Disease: Symptoms & Complications. http://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/symptoms-complications.html. Accessed September 27, 2017.
7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pneumococcal Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/pneumo/public/index.html. Accessed September 27, 2017.