PRLog - Feb. 7, 2012 - PEORIA, Ariz. -- Until 2000, Streptococcus pneumoniae infections caused 100,000-135,000 hospitalizations for pneumonia, 6 million cases of ear infections, and 60,000 cases of invasive disease, including 3300 cases of meningitis. Disease figures have improved since a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was introduced in 2001.
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Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is a type of Gram-positive bacteria. It can often be found in the upper respiratory tract of humans, but as with many natural flora, it can become pathogenic under the right conditions and can cause pneumonia, paranasal sinusitis and meningitis.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is spread from person to person by the inhalation of respiratory droplets from an infected person. Persons at a higher risk for infections include the elderly, children under 2 years old, African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives. Children who attend group day care centers and people with underlying medical conditions, including HIV infection and sickle-cell disease, are also at increased risk.
Death occurs in 14% of hospitalized adults with the invasive form of the disease. Neurologic sequelae and/or learning disabilities can occur in meningitis patients. Hearing impairment can also result from recurrent otitis media. The incidence among young adults and young children is decreasing, due to improved HIV therapy and to use of the new conjugate vaccine for children.
“Outbreaks have occurred in institutional settings and childcare centers in the past,” reported Susan White, Ph.D., CMC. Dr. White is the President of Sussex Environmental Health Consultants (SEHC), a leading indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental infectious disease prevention consulting firm serving the Mid-Atlantic region. “In the United States, beta-lactam resistance is common and the prevalence of strains resistant to multiple classes of drugs is increasing. It is important that institutional and childcare settings do everything possible to prevent the spread of Streptococcus pneumoniae and other microbial pathogens.”
SEHC recently sponsored a public outreach video about Streptococcus pneumoniae that can be viewed at:
To learn more about SEHC’s environmental infectious disease prevention services or other IAQ, environmental, and health and safety services, please visit http://www.sussexenvironmental.com, email susan.white@
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About Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, LLC
SEHC is a certified woman owned business that provides environmental and health and safety consulting services. The company is located in the Mid-Atlantic and services customers nationwide. SEHC provides solutions to clients ranging from homeowners to international Fortune 500 Corporations.