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Caution! Streptococcus Pneumoniae Disease Has Become the Second Leading Cause of Death Among Children Under 5

Caution! Streptococcus Pneumoniae Disease Has Become the Second Leading Cause of Death Among Children Under 5

Pneumonia affects people's health globally and is a common respiratory system infectious disease. It is also a significant cause of death in children worldwide due to infection. Streptococcus pneumonia is an important pathogen that causes pneumonia, and children under two years old in daycare centers and kindergartens are susceptible to Streptococcus pneumonia.

There are significant challenges in the management of childhood pneumonia.

Respiratory diseases are prevalent in children, and pneumonia is among the most severe. Pneumonia is quite common in critically ill children in pediatric emergency departments, and many respiratory diseases are prone to be complicated by pneumonia. Currently, it is estimated that infections caused by Streptococcus pneumonia lead to more than 1 million deaths in children under five years old every year, making it the second leading cause of death in children under five years old.

Many pathogens can cause pneumonia, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. However, in the clinical diagnosis and treatment process of pediatrics, bacterial pathogens are the leading cause of severe pneumonia, and Streptococcus pneumonia is the most common type among them. It is not troublesome when the body's immune system is standard. Once the body's immune system is compromised, it can invade multiple body parts. Among children, many severe pneumonia cases are caused by streptococcus pneumoniae.

Streptococcus pneumonia is an important pathogen in childhood pneumonia in various age groups, causing a series of invasive and non-invasive diseases. It can cause common pneumonia and more severe infections such as meningitis, bacteremia, and sepsis, which seriously endanger life and health. Meningitis is the most dangerous, with the highest mortality rate, and most cases will leave various lifelong sequelae.

Prevention should be the primary focus for streptococcus pneumonia.

Young children are at a high risk of Streptococcus pneumonia diseases, with the highest incidence between 6 and 11 months old. In this regard, experts point out that two stages in a child's growth require special attention: one is the high-risk period of infection by invasive streptococcus pneumonia diseases for infants from newborn to two years old. The baby's immune system is not yet fully developed when born, and the mother's antibodies in the baby's body almost disappear before six months old. The baby's immune system is not yet perfect, and their immunity to pathogen infections decreases, making them more susceptible to Streptococcus pneumoniae invasion. Not only is this stage prone to illness, but it is also prone to severe cases, leading to invasive diseases such as septic pneumonia and meningitis.

Another susceptible group is children who have just entered childcare facilities. Usually, they start living in a collective environment around the age of three, and the close contact between children will significantly increase during this period, leading to the spread of many pathogens. At the same time, the collective living environment is prone to cross-infections, increasing the risk of respiratory diseases and the risk of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection. Research shows that the carriage rate of Streptococcus pneumonia in children under five years old is relatively high, and the group living style in kindergartens is more likely to form highly homologous pathogens.

How to prevent Streptococcus pneumonia:

Given the severe threat of Streptococcus pneumonia diseases to children's health, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified it as a disease that requires "extremely high priority" for vaccination. Therefore, timely vaccination before entering the high-incidence season or high-risk age group for pneumonia effectively prevents Streptococcus pneumonia diseases and can significantly reduce the risk of pneumonia.

In addition, prevention of Streptococcus pneumonia diseases also requires the following measures: frequent handwashing to maintain hand hygiene; when coughing or sneezing, cover the mouth and nose with a tissue, and discard the used tissue into a covered trash bin, then thoroughly clean your hands; if symptoms of respiratory infection occur, wear a mask and try to avoid crowded places with poor air circulation.

Further reading:

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