Severe chills, high fever, coughing, shortness of breath and chest pains are some of the initial symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia caused by the bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae, notes MedicineNet. People with pneumococcal pneumonia may also suffer from nausea, vomiting, tiredness, headaches and muscle aches.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is an infection of the upper respiratory tract that may spread to the ears, blood, lungs or nervous system, states MedicineNet. The condition affects primarily children under the age of 5 and adults over the age of 65, with the elderly at higher risk of getting seriously ill or dying from the disease. People with conditions such as heart, lung or liver disease and HIV and those who have recently had a transplant operation are at higher risk of contracting pneumococcal pneumonia.
People with pneumococcal pneumonia, and those carrying the streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria in their throats, spread the disease through the release of respiratory droplets from the nose or mouth, notes MedicineNet. Doctors diagnose pneumococcal pneumonia by examining patients' symptoms, and through the use of physical exams, chest X-rays and lab tests. Doctors treat pneumococcal pneumonia with antibiotics, though some strains of the disease have become resistant to available drugs, as of 2015. People at risk of contracting pneumococcal pneumonia should have a pneumococcal vaccine to prevent the disease.