Pneumonia is a life threatening disease and every year, it is responsible for the death of millions of individuals across the world. Thus, if you have any doubts that you may have pneumonia, you should rush to your doctor immediately.

The incidence of Pneumonia is more prevalent in children, older adults and patients suffering from chronic illnesses. The basic understanding of signs and symptoms of Pneumonia goes a long way in successful and quick treatment of the disease. 

In case, you have any of the following symptoms and they remain for long time then you should see your doctor.

                    Cough and Cold due to infection in the upper respiratory tract

                    High Fever with temperature of 102 F or higher for more than one day

                    Sharp and severe chest pain that worsens while coughing or inhaling

                    Breathe Shortness

                    Shaking Chills and Profuse Sweating

                    Overall health gets worsened after catching flu or cold

Children

As children do not develop prominent symptoms of Pneumonia therefore it is essential that you should take your child to the paediatrician immediately if you have even a slight doubt of presence of pneumonia.

Older Adult

You should visit your medical care or hospital on priority basis in case you are an older adult and symptoms of Pneumonia are present. The individuals who are alcoholic or injured; need to seek immediate medical attention as they are more prone to infections in the lungs.

Individuals with weak Immune System

The patients who have weakened immune system due to AIDS, immuno suppressive drugs, chemotherapy, etc are more susceptible to get Pneumonia than otherwise healthy persons. 

Similarly, patients who have other chronic illnesses like Asthma or who need organ transplant or who is under treatment for cancer are more vulnerable to pneumonia.

The risk category for Pneumonia comprises of individuals who are vulnerable of getting Pneumonia. It predominately includes children, older adults (65 years and above) and patients with other complications.

The Pneumonia is easily spread in patients with immune deficiency diseases like AIDS/HIV. The risk category or risk factors are the conditions that enhance the possibility of getting pneumonia.

Let’s check out of risk factors of Pneumonia

• Chronic lung disease such as COPD, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis and other conditions.

• Individuals with habit of cigarette smoking or Drugs or alcohol abuse

• Difficulty in swallowing because of neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and dementia.

• Cerebral palsy

• Patients who have weakened Immune system or immune-compromised system

• Impaired consciousness due to loss of brain function

• Liver cirrhosis or diabetes mellitus or emphysema

• Individuals who have undergone recent surgery

• Cold, laryngitis, or flu

• Living in hospital or nursing facility

• Exposure to toxic pollutants and fumes

• Other serious illnesses like heart disease

The special care needs to be taken in the following cases.

Older Adult (around 65 years or more)

The individuals who are smokers, alcoholic, take drugs or injured; need to seek immediate medical attention as they are more prone to infections in the lungs. You should visit your medical care or hospital on priority basis in case you are an older adult and symptoms of Pneumonia are present.

Babies

It is essential that you should take your child to the paediatrician immediately if you have even a slight doubt of presence of pneumonia as children do not develop prominent symptoms of Pneumonia.

Individuals with Immune-compromised System

Patients who have other chronic illnesses like heart diseases, asthma or who need organ transplant or who is under treatment for cancer are more vulnerable to pneumonia. Similarly, patients who have weakened immune system due to AIDS, immune suppressive drugs, chemotherapy, etc are more susceptible to get Pneumonia than otherwise healthy persons.

What is Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPV23)?

The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) is the vaccine that provides protection against 23 serotypes of pneumococcal bacteria. After receiving the vaccine shot, healthy individuals develop protection against most of Pneumococcal strains within 2 to 3 weeks.

PPV23 can be administered along with other vaccines as it is an inactivated vaccine and one does not need to wait for receiving PPV23 after other vaccines are administered.

What is the need of PPV23?

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a killer disease that affects thousands of individuals every year across the world. In severe cases, it leads to life threatening conditions such as meningitis or bacteraemia.

It can affect anyone; however some individuals are more susceptible for getting infection such as 65 and older persons, infants and children, people with associated health conditions like heart or lung disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, etc.

Thus, prevention of Pneumococcal pneumonia with PPV23 vaccine drastically reduces the mortality rate associated with this dreaded disease.

Indications for vaccination with PPV23

Do you need a vaccination dose with PPV23? If you fall into any of the below mentioned categories, then you may visit your health care provider and discuss about receiving the vaccination dose.

                    Older Adults in age group of 65 years and above; need to get vaccinated if they are previously unvaccinated.

                    Individuals who smoke cigarettes should get vaccinated

                    Individuals (age between 2–64 years) with following conditions should get vaccinated

                    Chronic cardiovascular disease such as congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy

                    Chronic pulmonary disease such as COPD, emphysema, asthma

                    Diabetes mellitus, cochlear implant patients

                    Chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis, alcoholic, or have a cerebrospinal fluid leak

                    Individuals who are residents of Alaska Natives or certain American Indian populations

                    Individuals between 2–64 years and have functional or anatomic Asplenia

                    Individuals (age 2 years and older) with immune-compromised system due to HIV/AIDS infection, Hodgkin’s disease, generalized malignancy, chronic renal failure, leukaemia, etc. 

                    Individuals who are receiving immune-suppressive therapy

                    Individuals who had receive an organ or bone marrow transplant

Do you need a second dose of PPSV?

If you had already received a dose of PPV23, you should check if you need a second dose of the PPV23 vaccine.

A second dose of PPV23 is indicated in the following conditions.

                    All children and adults (above 64 years) who are at greatest risk of life threatening pneumococcal disease 

                    All children and adults (above 64 years) who exhibit rapid decline in pneumococcal antibody levels

                    All adults (age 65 years and above) who were vaccinated with PPV23 before 65 years and there is gap of 5 years or more since the first dose.

Risks from PCV23

There is very minimal chance of any severe or life threatening medical problem due to vaccine.

The patient may experience following mild reactions.

 

                    Allergic reaction

                    Redness or tenderness in the region where shot was administered

                    Swelling in the region where shot was administered

                    Mild fever