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New study suggests potential shift in burden of pneumococcal disease
Date:3/5/2013

rly persons. The cost analysis concluded that these diseases pose sizable burdens in five countries studied: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay.

Pneumococcal disease, which causes pneumonia, blood infection, brain inflammation and ear infections kills half a million children worldwide each yearor one child every minute. Thanks to new and improved vaccines, pneumococcal disease among young children is falling dramatically. Since childhood pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were introduced in Latin America in 2003, the disease is declining among children who are vaccinated, and the burden of disease may now be in the older population. Adults and the elderly across Latin America who also fall prey to this fast-acting disease arent getting vaccines, and relatively little was known about the number of pneumococcal-related deaths in these age groups.

Recognizing the intrinsic danger of some types of pneumococcal disease, researchers found case fatality rates can be as high as 35 percent in studies from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. For pneumococcal meningitis, studies in seven countries found that the percentage of people who died after being infected ranged from 9 percent to 58 percent.

As people continue to live longer lives, more of them will be at risk of contracting this highly contagious and costly disease, said Carla Domingues of the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The data reviewed during this study suggests that pneumococcal disease is an important problem among adults, causing disease and death from pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis.

A major finding of the study is that there is insufficient monitoring and surveillance. Quantifying the burden of disease for people 5 years of age and older in the Latin America and Caribbean region is important because pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) are increasingly being introduced into routine infant immunization programs and are expected to greatly reduce the burden of pneumococc
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Contact: Johanna Harvey
johanna.harvey@sabin.org
202-621-1691
Sabin Vaccine Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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