Pneumococcal disease is caused by
bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae). This germ is easily spread when someone with
bacteria coughs, sneezes, laughs, or talks. You can get pneumococcal disease more
once. This is because there are many different types (strains) of the bacteria. Some
strains are also resistant to treatment with antibiotics.
There are different kinds of
pneumococcal disease, depending on what part of the body is infected. They include:
Pneumonia. Infection in the lungs.
Meningitis. Infection of the covering of the brain and
Otitis media. Infection of the middle ear.
Bacteremia or septicemia. Infection in the blood.
Pneumococcal disease can be
life-threatening, especially for people in high-risk groups. Each year, thousands
people die from this disease. Thousands more become seriously ill.