Pneumococcal pneumonia is a lung disease that can cause hospitalization or even be life-threatening. Through a new educational campaign, the American Lung Association is offering an easy, two-minute online quiz to help adults determine if they are at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia and if they should talk to their healthcare provider about getting vaccinated.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common type of bacterial pneumonia. It is a potentially serious bacterial lung disease that can disrupt your life for weeks. In severe cases, it can put you in the hospital and even be life-threatening. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pneumococcal pneumonia causes an estimated 150,000 hospitalizations each year in the U.S.
“Pneumococcal pneumonia can happen any time of the year, so it is important to be protected if you are at greater risk,” said Albert Rizzo, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association. “Fortunately, pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines are available year-round to help prevent the disease.”
The CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all adults 65 years and older, and adults aged 19-64 with certain underlying medical conditions or other risk factors, including chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes and smoking cigarettes.
“Even healthy adults over 65 years are at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, because the body’s immune system naturally weakens with age. It is especially important for these individuals to be vaccinated because they are over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with pneumococcal pneumonia than adults aged 18-49,” Dr. Rizzo said.
Common symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia include high fever, excessive sweating, shaking chills, coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and chest pain. Some symptoms can appear quickly and without warning.
As a part of this new campaign, the Lung Association is partnering with Pfizer to share important facts about pneumococcal pneumonia. The public is encouraged to learn more about pneumococcal pneumonia and take the 2-minute online quiz to determine if they are at increased risk at Lung.org/pneumococcal.
The CDC urges maintaining recommended vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect against certain infectious respiratory diseases, including pneumococcal pneumonia.
For media seeking an interview with a lung health expert, contact Jill Dale at [email protected] or at 312-940-7001.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.