Here’s a question you probably haven’t considered – are you at risk for a pneumococcal disease?
In other words, do you suffer from lung, heart, liver or kidney disease?
Here are some more questions you should ask…
- Do you have a disease that affects your immune system such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, or a missing or damaged spleen?
- Are you over age 65?
- Do you smoke?
Answering yes to any of these questions may indicate that you are at an increased risk of contracting a disease caused by the bacteria streptococcus pneumoniea, a bacteria commonly found in the nose and throat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 900,000 people a year contract lung infections from this bacteria resulting in 400,000 hospitalizations and up to 63,000 deaths. While these figures are sobering, there is one simple way to fight back against this microbe that is wreaking so much havoc.
Are you ready? Get vaccinated! That’s right, there are currently two available vaccines that guard against pneumococcal infections. Which vaccine type you will receive depend on factors like your age and current health conditions. Vaccines, like the pneumococcal vaccine, are often your best defense against illness. And with flu season fast approaching, the pneumococcal vaccine can be paired with your annual flu shot which is recommended for all persons over 6 months of age.
If you have questions about whether or not you should receive the pneumococcal vaccine or which vaccine you should receive, talk to your doctor or your Brookshire Brothers Pharmacist. Invest in a healthier you by taking proactive steps to decrease your chance for illness.
Exercise. Eat Healthy. Get plenty of rest. Get vaccinated!
Matt Baker, PharmD
Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy – Lufkin, TX