There’s a Lot to Worry About, Take Pneumonia Off the List
What is the Pneumococcal disease and how do you get it?
Pneumococcal [noo-muh-KOK-uhl], is a bacterial infection that can lead to a number of issues from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections. Like so many infections, it is spread through respiratory secretions such as mucus or saliva. Many times children will carry the disease in their nose or throat but never get sick. But the older you get, the more at risk you become.
The CDC reports:
Pneumococcal pneumonia causes an estimated 150,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States.
Pneumococcal meningitis and bacteremia killed approximately 3,250 people in the United States in 2019. One in six adults, who get Pneumoccocal meningitis, die from the infection.
Who should be immunized?
As a child, you were most likely given the Pneumococcal immunization, but if you are unsure or have never received it, then we recommend anyone over the age of 65 schedule to receive this immunization. Unless you are 19-64 with any of the underlying risk factors listed below:
Chronic heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease
HIV infection, cancer, solid organ transplant, or another condition or taking medicine that weakens the immune system
Sickle cell disease, a damaged spleen, or no spleen
Chronic obstructive lung disease
If you have any of these risk factors, please contact your health department to see if you should be immunized for the pneumococcal disease.
Check the CDC website for potential side effects or to learn more about this immunization.
Note: According to the CDC, Medicare Part B covers 100% of the cost for two different pneumococcal immunizations, when administered at least 12 months apart.
Does the Health Department offer other services for adults?
We do! We’ve found many people don’t know that we are here for everyone in the Pennyrile district. Note, that we’re not called the “sick” department, our main goal is to help prevent infections and diseases so you live your healthiest life.
If you’re over 50, you should also receive a Shingles immunization. If you haven’t received this yet, schedule your appointment today!
We serve every member of the community, regardless of age or income. We have a variety of cancer screenings, immunizations offered and general health tests to ensure you’re staying on track with your health. Learn more about what we offer adults, here.