About Prevention

Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Pneumococcal pneumonia can put you in the hospital.

Pneumococcal pneumonia is not a cold or the flu. It’s an illness that is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common bacteria that can be spread from person to person through a cough or sneeze. Pneumococcal pneumonia symptoms appear quickly and can be severe.


For some people, certain symptoms like cough and fatigue can last for weeks or longer—even after treatment with antibiotics. Fifty or older? Even if you're active and healthy, you may be at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. As you get older, your immune system can’t respond as quickly to infection. That’s because your body produces fewer of the cells and antibodies it needs to defend you against infections such as pneumococcal disease. As young as 50? Even if you lead an active and healthy life, you still may be at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. Other factors like your lifestyle and certain chronic health conditions could also increase your risk for developing pneumococcal pneumonia.


The Flu Vaccination

How do flu vaccines work?

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season

Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. CDC estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000. During flu season, flu viruses circulate at higher levels in the U.S. population. (“Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.) An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

(Source CDC)

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