Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacterium, Streptococcus pneumoniae. This infection can cause mild symptoms such as sinus or ear infections, or more serious complications such as inflammation of the brain (meningitis), lungs (pneumonia) or blood infection (septicaemia).
Signs & Symptoms of Pneumococcal Disease
Symptoms can depend on location and severity of infection. A more severe infection may cause:
- Shortness of breath
- Stiff neck
- Sensitivity to light
How is Pneumococcal disease diagnosed and treated?
Since other types of bacteria may cause similar symptoms, Streptococcus pneumoniae must be specifically tested for. In mild cases such as an ear infection, diagnosis may be made by doctor after a physical exam. If the infection is more severe, blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples are taken for laboratory testing.
Treatment includes antibiotics, pain relief, fluids and rest. In severe cases hospital admission is usually required.
How can I protect myself from Pneumococcal disease?
Immunisations can reduce the risk of infection and is recommended routinely in babies. Additionally, individuals in high-risk groups such as those with conditions that increase the risk of disease, Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children and people aged over 50 years, and all non-indigenous people aged 70 years and older.
Who can get vaccinated at National Pharmacies?
Available to individuals 50 years and older in Victoria only
Pneumococcal Vaccination Pricing: Members from $83.05 per dose, Retail Price from $95.60 per dose.