Pneumococcus is a type of bacteria that can attack different parts of the body and cause many serious infections including

These infections can be dangerous to very young children, the elderly, and people with certain high-risk health conditions.

Pneumococcal infections occur most often during the winter months. Infections spread from person to person the same way a cold or the flu spreads—by droplets passed through the air from coughing or sneezing, and through direct contact such as touching unwashed hands or kissing. The disease may spread quickly, especially in places where there are a lot of children, like child care centers and preschools.

Very young children do not have fully developed immune systems. This makes them more at risk from bacterial infections like pneumococcus. In addition, pneumococcal infection can be life-threatening for people with certain health problems such as

Pneumococcal bacteremia and pneumococcal meningitis occur when pneumococcal bacteria get into...

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