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Our Commitment: Protecting You From Pneumonia

Our Commitment: Protecting You From Pneumonia

                                           

Hattiesburg Clinic is committed to protecting our patients from illness and disease, some of which can be prevented with vaccination. One of these is pneumococcal disease, which is any type of infection caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae.

A form of pneumococcal disease is pneumonia, a lung infection that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages. Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common form of pneumococcal disease in adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with about 900,000 Americans getting pneumococcal pneumonia each year.

Common signs of pneumonia may include fever, cough and trouble breathing. The CDC estimates that as many as 400,000 hospitalizations from pneumonia are estimated to occur annually in the United States.

Pneumococcal Vaccines

Health care professionals use two different vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide

vaccine (PPSV23).

CDC recommends pneumococcal conjugate vaccination for:

  • All babies and children younger than 2 years old
  • All adults 65 years or older
  • People 2 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions

CDC recommends pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination for:

  • All adults 65 years or older
  • People 2 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions
  • Adults 19 through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes

Preventing Pneumonia

You can reduce your risk of getting pneumonia by following these few simple steps from the American Lung Association:

Get vaccinated. Seasonal influenza is a common cause of pneumonia, so preventing the flu is a good way to prevent pneumonia. Getting your annual flu shot, in addition to the pneumococcal shot, could help you fight both diseases.

Wash your hands. Frequently wash your hands, especially after blowing your nose, going to the restroom, diapering and before eating or preparing foods.

Don’t smoke. Tobacco damages your lung’s ability to fight off infection. Smokers have been found to be at higher risk of getting pneumonia and are especially encouraged to get the pneumococcal vaccine.

Be aware of your general health. Because pneumonia typically follows respiratory infections, you should be aware of any symptoms that linger more than a few days. Good health habits, such as a healthy diet, rest and regular exercise, help keep you from getting sick from viruses and respiratory illnesses. Such habits also promote fast recovery when you do get a cold, the flu or other respiratory illness.

Hattiesburg Clinic offers vaccination against flu and pneumonia at its family medicine, immediate care and select specialty clinics.

Talk to your primary care provider about protecting yourself from pneumonia and to find out which vaccine is best for you. If you do not have a primary care provider, call (601) 261-3518 and a member of our staff will help you find one.

Katie Townsend

Author

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