Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Pneumococcal pneumonia can strike anyone at any age, but is a very serious threat to people over 65. There is a vaccine that is effective in warding off pneumonia and it is the subject of todays 60 Second Housecall with Dr. Edward Hill.

Dr. Hill:

Influenza and pneumonia are the seventh-leading cause of death among adults in the United States. While many of us get our annual flu shot every October, a smaller number of those eligible in northeast Mississippi have received their pneumonia vaccination.

Pneumococcal pneumonia accounts for 10 to 25 percent of all pneumonia cases, and it is the only form of pneumonia for which there is a vaccine.

Once the number one cause of death in the United States, pneumonia death rates dropped greatly in 1936 with the development of antibiotics. But despite medical advances in its treatment, pneumonia still strikes three million Americans each year and still is deadly to many.

The pneumonia vaccine reduces both your chances of getting pneumonia and your risk of death if you do get it.

Healthy older adults may need only one shot every 10 years. People with one or more chronic medical problems are encouraged to have the vaccine every five to six years. Take every advantage you can against pneumonia and get vaccinated.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.