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CME: Updating Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations

CME: Updating Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria (also referred to as pneumococcus). These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, meningitis, and ear, sinus, and bloodstream infections. Pneumococcus is spread when people cough, sneeze, and/or are in close contact with others who are infected. Symptoms depend on the part of the body that is infected. They can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, stiff neck, and confusion and disorientation. Symptoms may also include sensitivity to light, joint pain, chills, ear pain, sleeplessness, and irritability. In severe cases, pneumococcal disease can cause hearing loss, brain damage, and death. Pneumococcal disease is a leading infectious cause of serious illness among older adults in the United States. Studies have identified certain patient groups that are more likely to become ill with pneumococcal disease. These high-risk groups include adults aged 65 and older and children younger than 2 years of age. People with weakened immune systems (eg, those with HIV/AIDS), those with chronic illnesses (eg, diabetes, heart disease, and asthma), and individuals who smoke cigarettes are at increased risk for getting pneumococcal disease. Vaccines Have Helped The incidence of pneumococcal infections among children and adults in the U.S. has dropped since a 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was initiated for routine use among infants in 2000 and was later replaced by the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in 2010. “For decades, the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) has been recommended for use in adults aged 65 and older for the prevention of pneumococcal infections,” explains Tamara Pilishvili, MPH. More recently, the FDA approved PCV13 for use...
Updating Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations

Updating Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria (also referred to as pneumococcus). These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, meningitis, and ear, sinus, and bloodstream infections. Pneumococcus is spread when people cough, sneeze, and/or are in close contact with others who are infected. Symptoms depend on the part of the body that is infected. They can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, stiff neck, and confusion and disorientation. Symptoms may also include sensitivity to light, joint pain, chills, ear pain, sleeplessness, and irritability. In severe cases, pneumococcal disease can cause hearing loss, brain damage, and death. Pneumococcal disease is a leading infectious cause of serious illness among older adults in the United States. Studies have identified certain patient groups that are more likely to become ill with pneumococcal disease. These high-risk groups include adults aged 65 and older and children younger than 2 years of age. People with weakened immune systems (eg, those with HIV/AIDS), those with chronic illnesses (eg, diabetes, heart disease, and asthma), and individuals who smoke cigarettes are at increased risk for getting pneumococcal disease. Vaccines Have Helped The incidence of pneumococcal infections among children and adults in the U.S. has dropped since a 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was initiated for routine use among infants in 2000 and was later replaced by the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in 2010. “For decades, the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) has been recommended for use in adults aged 65 and older for the prevention of pneumococcal infections,” explains Tamara Pilishvili, MPH. More recently, the FDA approved PCV13 for use...
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