December 7, 2023
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Pneumococcal Pneumonia and 9 ways to prevent it

pneumococcal pneumonia and healthcare

Each year around 150,000 people are hospitalized each year due to pneumococcal pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia causes 3000 deaths each year in the US. one in every eight children is at risk of getting affected by the bacteria.

What is pneumococcal pneumonia?

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a type of lung infection. It is caused by a bacteria called streptococcus pneumonia. This infection can make you feel very sick, with symptoms like coughing, fever, and trouble breathing.

The bacteria responsible for pneumococcal pneumonia can spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze. So, it is vital to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs.

To stay healthy you can also get a vaccine called the pneumococcal vaccine. This vaccine helps your body fight off the bacteria that cause pneumonia. It is like a superhero shield for your immune system.

Remember, if you ever feel sick and have symptoms like coughing, fever, or trouble breathing, tell a grown-up right away. They can get the correct medical treatment.

So. stay healthy, cover your mouth and nose, wash your hands regularly, and get vaccinated.

What are the basic signs and symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia?

Pneumococcal pneumonia can make you feel sick. Here are some basic signs and symptoms to look for:


You may have a cough that can be dry or produce mucus (also called phlegm). It can be tough to stop coughing, and it might even hurt your chest.


You may have a high body temperature and feel hot. This is how your body tries to fight off infections.

3.Trouble Breathing: 

Pneumonia can make it hard to breathe. You might feel like you can not catch your breath or that your chest feels tight.

symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia

4.Chest Pain: 

Sometimes, you may feel pain in your chest when you breathe deeply or cough. It can be scary, but it is a sign that your body is trying to fight the infection.

5.Feeling Tired: 

Pneumonia can leave you feeling weak and exhausted. Your body is working hard to get better, so it is normal to feel tired.

Remember, if you have any of these symptoms, tell a grown-up. They can help you get the medical care you need.

But don’t worry, there are things you can do to stay healthy. Remember to wash your hands often, cover your nose and mouth when you cough, and get vaccinated. These healthy habits can help protect you against different types of pneumonia and keep you feeling your best!

What are the causes of pneumococcal pneumonia?

Pneumococcal pneumonia is caused by a type of bacteria called streptococcus pneumonia. These bacteria can sometimes get into your lungs and make you sick. But how does that happen? 

Well, these bacteria are sneaky little creatures. They can spread from person to person through tiny droplets in the air when someone coughs or sneezes. Imagine these droplets as tiny hitchhikers looking for a new place to call home. If you breathe in these droplets, the bacteria can make their way into your lungs and cause an infection.

But here is some good news: your body is good at fighting off these bacteria. You have a superhero team called your immune system, and they work hard to keep you healthy. Sometimes, the bacteria are clever and overpower your immune system, causing pneumonia.

To protect yourself and others, there are some helpful things you can do. 

  • First, always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow when you cough or sneeze. It helps prevent the bacteria from spreading to others. 
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. It helps to get rid of germs that you may have picked up. 
  • Getting the pneumococcal vaccine can help your immune system recognize and fight off the bacteria, like having a superhero shield.

Remember, staying healthy is a team effort. By practicing good hygiene, covering your mouth and nose, and getting vaccinated, you are helping to keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy. 

How to Diagnose?

When your healthcare provider suspects the presence of pneumonia, they recommend either one or a series of tests. These tests may include:

  • Physical examination
  • Medical history 
  • X-ray 
  • Blood tests 
  • Sputum test 
  • Pulse oximetry 

Physical Examination: 

A doctor will start by listening to your breathing using a stethoscope and checking for any abnormal sounds in your lungs.

Medical History: 

The doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and how long you’ve been feeling unwell. They will also ask if you’ve experienced any recent illnesses or been in contact with someone who has pneumonia.

Chest X-ray: 

A special machine takes pictures of your chest. X-ray helps the doctor see if there are any changes in your lungs, such as infection or inflammation.

Blood Tests: 

Samples of your blood may be taken to check for signs of infection, such as an increased number of white blood cells. Most commonly healthcare providers recommend a Complete Blood Count test.

Sputum Test: 

If you have a cough and are producing phlegm, a sample of your sputum may be analyzed in a lab to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection.

Pulse Oximetry: 

A small device called a pulse oximeter is clipped onto your finger to measure the oxygen level in your blood. Low oxygen levels could indicate pneumonia.

Remember, it’s always important to visit a healthcare professional if you’re feeling unwell or if you have any concerns about your health. They will be able to help you and provide the best care possible.

How to prevent it from happening?

Keeping yourself healthy and preventing pneumococcal pneumonia is super important. Here are 9 simple and effective prevention methods that you can follow:

1.Wash your hands often: 

Use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. It helps kill germs that can make you sick.

2.Cover your mouth and nose: 

When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with your hand, tissue, or elbow. It helps stop germs from spreading to other people. 

prevention from pneumococcal pneumonia

3.Avoid close contact with sick people: 

Try to stay away from people who have a cough or a fever. Germs can spread when people are in close contact with each other.

4.Do not touch your face often: 

Try your best to avoid touching your face. Try not to touch your:

  • Eyes 
  • Nose
  • Mouth

 Germs can enter your body through these openings.

5.Don’t share personal items: 

Avoid sharing things like cups, utensils, or towels with others. Germs can easily travel from person to person through these items.

6.Clean and disinfect surfaces: 

Use a disinfectant to clean surfaces that are frequently touched, like doorknobs, light switches, and toys. This helps kill the germs that may be lingering there.

7.Get vaccinated: 

Consult a healthcare provider about getting the pneumococcal vaccine. It can help your body fight off the bacteria that cause pneumonia and keep you healthy. 

8.Stay healthy: 

  • Eat a balanced
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise regularly 

When your body is strong and healthy, it is better equipped to fight off infections.

8.Listen to your body: 

If you start feeling sick or have symptoms like coughing, fever, or trouble breathing, tell a grown-up right away. They can help you get the medical care you need.

Remember, you have the power to keep yourself and others healthy. By following these prevention methods, you are protecting yourself from pneumococcal pneumonia and other illnesses.

What are the effective treatments available to cure the condition?

If you or someone you know has pneumococcal pneumonia, don’t worry! There are treatment methods available to help you get better. Here’s what you need to know:


Doctors often prescribe special medicines called antibiotics to treat pneumonia. These medicines are the most effective way to fight against the bacteria causing the infection. It is vital to take antibiotics exactly as your doctor tells you, even if you start feeling better. That way, you can completely get rid of the bacteria.


When you have pneumonia, your body needs rest to recover. So, make sure to take it easy, get plenty of sleep, and give your body the time it needs to heal.

3.Drink fluids: 

Staying hydrated is important when you’re sick. Drink lots of water and other healthy fluids like juice or soup to help your body stay strong and fight off the infection.

effective treatment for pneumococcal pneumonia

4.Control fever and pain: 

If you have a fever or feel uncomfortable, your doctor might recommend OTC medicine to help lower your fever and ease any pain or discomfort. Just remember to always talk to a grown-up or your doctor before taking any medicine on your own.

5.Follow your doctor’s advice: 

Your doctor will give you specific instructions tailored to your situation. Make sure to follow their advice, take your medicine as prescribed, and attend any follow-up appointments to monitor your progress.

6.Supportive care: 

Sometimes, if you have severe pneumonia, you may need to be hospitalized, this means that you will stay in the hospital and receive extra help and treatment from doctors and nurses until you get better.

Remember, it’s important to tell a grown-up if you’re feeling sick and let them know about any symptoms you’re experiencing. They can help you get the medical care you need to start feeling better. Rest up, follow your doctor’s advice, and don’t forget to drink lots of fluids. You’ll be back to your energetic self in no time!


In conclusion, while pneumococcal pneumonia can affect anyone, older adults are at higher risk of getting the infection due to their weaker immune systems. It is important for people in this age group, as well as others who are at risk, to consider getting the pneumococcal vaccine to help protect themselves from this illness. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Also, make sure to consult a healthcare provider for better recommendations and proper treatments.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Who is at higher risk of developing the disease?

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a type of lung infection caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. It can make you feel sick and can be dangerous if not treated properly.

One of the important things to know about pneumococcal pneumonia is that it can affect anyone regardless of age. However, certain groups of people are at a higher risk of developing this infection, and one group is older adults. 

As people get older, their immune system, which helps protect them from infections, becomes weaker. This makes it easier for them to get sick, including getting pneumococcal pneumonia. That’s why older adults are more prone to developing this infection than younger people.

It’s also worth mentioning that children under the age of 2 and those with certain health conditions, like asthma or chronic lung disease, are also at a higher risk of getting pneumococcal pneumonia.

To protect ourselves and those around us from pneumococcal pneumonia, there is a vaccine available that can help prevent this infection. Vaccines are like shots that are given to you to help your body fight off diseases. The pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for people who are at a higher risk, like older adults and those with certain health conditions.

Are there any types of pneumonia? If yes, what are they?

Pneumonia can be classified into four main types:

  1. Bacterial pneumonia
  2. Viral pneumonia 
  3. Fungal pneumonia 
  4. Mycoplasma pneumonia 

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