Pneumococcal Pneumonia – Symptoms, Treatment, and More

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract. It affects the lungs and is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Each year almost 900,000 American adults suffer from pneumococcal pneumonia. The fatalities of the cases amount to 5% to 7% of the cases.

The early signs of pneumonia are fever, cough, and shortage of breath. Nausea, headaches, and vomiting are also early signs. Sometimes blood oozes out with the phlegm. A doctor would suggest an X-ray that will exhibit the patches and infected areas of the lungs.

Once you are diagnosed with pneumococcal pneumonia, the doctor prescribes antibiotics for you. The antibiotics take 12 to 36 hours to release antibodies that fight the bacteria. Often it is noticed that the bacteria resist the antibiotics and your condition thus worsens.

A vaccine for treating the flu is helpful in preventing pneumococcal pneumonia. The vaccine is administered to children below 5 and adults above 65 years.

Symptoms of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Pneumococcal pneumonia sets out with a sudden chill feeling appended by fever, coughs, and aches. A detailed study of each symptom will guide you to the corrective measures.

Fever

An increase in the body temperature above the normal range is a fever. The normal body temperature is 98.6F. Medically, if your body temperature is 100.4F or above, then you are under a fever attack. It is also resultant of your immune system to a sudden attack of foreign bodies. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a bacterial infection will rouse your body temperature. Fever is one of the first signs of a pneumococcal pneumonia attack.

Coughs

Coughing is not a disease in itself but a symptom of some underlying infection. You develop bouts of coughing due to infection in your system. It is mainly a symptom of respiratory infection. Pneumococcal pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and is bound to produce coughing fits. A fever added by bouts of coughs is another sign of pneumococcal pneumonia.

Breathing Trouble

A common symptom of pneumococcal pneumonia is breathing trouble. Pneumococcal pneumonia if left untreated can lead to asthma. You lose your breath and face difficulty in breathing when attacked by pneumococcal pneumonia. You need to be cautious if you experience breathing problems.

Chest Pain

Excessive coughing and lung infection can lead to chest pain. If you are suffering from pneumococcal pneumonia, you may experience chest pain. If proper care is not taken, it can give rise to other heart diseases. Thus, chest pain is another common symptom of pneumococcal pneumonia.

Other Symptoms

Some secondary symptoms are predominant in pneumococcal pneumonia. They are:

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Headache

• Body ache

• Fatigue and tiredness

Treatment of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

The treatment of pneumococcal pneumonia is a two-way process. You can either administer antibiotics or push in a vaccine. Penicillin drugs are highly effective against pneumococcal pneumonia. You should register them with susceptible isolates. Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines are registered for children under 5 and adults above 65. They are recommended as a part of routine prophylaxis.

The advantages of some antibiotics and vaccines are stated below.

Cefotaxime

• Third-generation cephalosporin with broad gram-negative spectrum.

• Lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms.

• High efficacy against resistant organisms.

• Arrests bacterial cell wall synthesis by binding PBP.

• Inhibits bacterial growth

• DOC for meningitis, pneumonia and other invasive infections.

Penicillin G

• DOC for severe infections like meningitis.

• Attributed to a susceptible strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

• Parental drug choice for Streptococcus cases of pneumonia

Amoxicillin

• Better absorption than penicillin VK.

• The administration is q6h, not q8h.

• The administration of q12h recommended for minor infections.

• A most active group for non-susceptible penicillin streptococcus pneumoniae.

Ampicillin

• Bacterial activity against the susceptible organism.

• Alternative to Amoxicillin if cannot be taken orally.

Cefazolin

• Parental treatment for pneumococcal pneumonia outside CNS.

• Best beta-lactam for IM administration.

• Inability to cross blood and brain barrier.

Ceftriaxone

• Used for treating pneumococcal pneumonia that has reduced susceptibility to penicillin.

• Not a preferred drug for infections caused by high penicillin resistance.

• Useful for meningitis in conjunction with vancomycin or rifampin.

Azithromycin

• Better tolerated than erythromycin.

• Treatment time reduced due to long half-life.

Vancomycin

• Active against strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

• Suboptimal capacity to cross blood and brain barrier.

• Preferred for severe penicillin-resistant pneumococcal pneumonia.

• Ideal for patients with IgE type allergy.

• Only IV administration produces desired results.

Vaccines

Pneumococcal Vaccine 13-Valent

• Capsular Polysaccharide vaccine against 13 strains of streptococcus pneumoniae.

• Conjugated to nontoxic diphtheria protein.

• Serotypes include 1,3,4,5, and 6 among some.

Pneumococcal Vaccine Polyvalent

• Streptococcus pneumoniae capsular antigen stimulate active immune response.

• Production of endogenously produced antibodies.

• The vaccine contains 23 serotypes.

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