Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, sometimes referred to as pneumococcus.
Many of these live in the respiratory passages of humans but they do not cause ill health.
Pneumococcus can cause many types of illnesses, including ear infections, sinus infections, infection in the blood stream and meningitis. It is spread by air borne droplets of saliva or mucous when someone coughs or sneezes.
There are vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease in children and adults and are given free as per the National Immunization Australian program schedule.
These people include:
- All infants up to 5 years of age
- Adults 65 years and older
- Indigenous people 15 years and over
Pneumococcal Vaccination for those adults 65 years can be given with your annual flu vaccine. If you are eligible and have not had a pneumococcal vaccination please discuss this further with your regular treating doctor when you attend for your annual flu vaccination later in the year.
For more information please click the following link: https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/~/media/Files/HealthyWA/Original/2015%20Pneumoccal%20disease%20fact%20sheet.pdf