CDC Warns about Rise in Serious Pneumococcal Disease

  1. Are you under age 65, but have asthma or do you smoke? Are you diabetic or have an immune disorder? Even if you have never had a past problem, think about adding an extra layer of protection this season. Many of the people that were severely impacted by H1N1 were considered fairly healthy people by their families, except for having what they considered a nonproblematic health issue such as mild asthma.

    Your age is not a protective factor because pandemic viruses historically attack the young, and H1N1 is no exception as the CDC is pointing out. Think of it as buying some extra insurance to protect yourself, and to give your family the peace of mind of knowing that you did everything you could to prevent them from the terrible tragedy of losing you. It is heartbreaking to read the stories of the fatal cases, and to see what these families have been through. If you are risk, get the vaccine. There is no shortage of this one. It is under utilized.

    Quote from
    In a worrisome but not unexpected pandemic-related development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that it is seeing a spike in serious pneumococcal disease, particularly in younger patients.

    Health officials expect to see more pneumococcal disease when seasonal flu circulates, but the infections typically strike people who are older than 65. In past pandemics secondary bacterial pneumonia infections, particularly those involving Streptococcus pneumoniae, frequently contributed to illnesses and deaths.

    The CDC recommends the vaccine for several high-risk groups, but uptake is low. Only about 25% of adults in high-risk groups who are younger than age 65 have received the vaccine. The CDC's vaccine advisory group recently added people with asthma and smokers to the list of those who should receive the pneumococcal vaccine.
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    (hat tip Avian Flu Diary)