Pneumococci are bacteria that are among the most common causes of bacterial infections in children. They usually settle in the throat or nose. They cause inflammation of the upper respiratory tract (acute otitis media, sinusitis), bronchitis, pneumonia, and in some cases can cause severe, life-threatening invasive infections.
Pneumococci what they cause
Breaking through protective barriers, the bacteria enter the blood, causing: sepsis - a generalized infection with severe symptoms from multiple organs, meningitis, pneumonia or arthritis.
Children under the age of 5 are most vulnerable to pneumococcal disease, as their immune systems are not yet sufficiently developed.
How can you get infected with pneumococcus
Infection most often occurs by the droplet route or through direct contact with a carrier or sick person. Pneumococci are extremely virulent bacteria that are resistant to various groups of antibiotics. It is a major problem that has been dangerously increasing recently. The risk of infection among children increases significantly in large gatherings such as nurseries and kindergartens or other places where they are in a larger group and it is not possible to take basic precautions.
Is it worth it to vaccinate for pneumococcus
Since the bacterium is common and contact with it is unavoidable, the only way to prevent infection is through immunization.
The vaccines protect against infection with 13 types of pneumococcus, which most often cause invasive diseases.
Studies show that among children who have been vaccinated, the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease, pneumonia, otitis media has decreased.
In countries where vaccination is mandatory, the effects are even better, as the vaccines also protect against carriage, which limits the spread of infection.