The beginning of the cold season is also the time to protect yourself against all vaccine-preventable respiratory diseases. Ao refers to this. Univ.-Prof. Reinhard Würzner from the Institute for Hygiene and Medical Microbiology at the MedUni Innsbruck. In addition to the COVID and influenza vaccination, this protection also includes vaccination against pneumococci, especially for people of all ages with previous illnesses.
Pneumococcal infections often lead to pneumonia, which is often difficult and makes hospitalization necessary. So-called superinfections with pneumococci, for example in influenza sufferers, occur again and again and are very dangerous, according to a broadcast by the Austrian Association of Vaccine Manufacturers. In times of increasingly scarce hospital resources, all avoidable respiratory diseases should be prevented as much as possible.
Of the Winter is pneumococcal time
Respiratory diseases mainly occur in the cold season. Pneumococcal diseases are basically all year round. Most express themselves in the form of pneumonia, which can often be treated on an outpatient basis. A
However, one third to one half of the patients must be admitted to the hospital. In another part of them, the disease becomes invasive and must therefore be reported.These are those cases in which the germs are also found in normally sterile body fluids such as blood or joint fluids and the disease is very difficult.
On the data of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) you can see that these mostly occur in autumn or winter. The number of cases increases significantly from September until they peak in December and January and then slowly decline again.
Vaccination schedule: especially for people 60 plus
“As with COVID-19, we should urgently try to intervene preventively here too,” appeals the Innsbruck hygienist Reinhard Würzner. “Pneumococcal diseases can also lead to hospital stays including intensive care units and even death. It should not be underestimated, especially with seniors. “
In the Austrian vaccination plan, pneumococcal vaccination is recommended for all people over 60 and people of all ages with risk factors. The American Lung Association has compiled some figures. According to her, people over 65 have a 3.8 times greater risk of pneumococcal pneumonia than people between 18 and 64, and the risk of being referred to hospital is even 10 times higher than people between 18 and 49.