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Pneumococcal infections

Pneumococcus is a bacteria found in the airways of many people. This bacteria is spread from person to person, most often by contact with secretions from the nose or throat. It can cause several types of serious illnesses such as bacteremia, meningitis and pneumonia.

In children, the frequency of serious pneumococcal infections is greater in those under 2 years of age as well as in those with chronic illnesses or conditions such as splenectomy or the presence of a cochlear implant. The mortality caused by this bacterium in children under the age of 13 is 2%, but reaches 6% in the case of meningitis and up to 44% if there is bacteremia with septic shock, and this, despite treatment with antibiotics. Pneumococcus is also a common cause of otitis media and sinusitis in children.

In adults, the mortality associated with this infection is mainly related to the advanced age of the affected person, to the presence of chronic diseases or to conditions such as splenectomy and the presence of a cochlear implant. In some groups, mortality can reach 40% if there is bacteremia and 55% if people have meningitis, despite treatment with antibiotics.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada