Patients with H1N1 at Higher Risk for Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Although most children, young adults and pregnant women are at highest risk for H1N1 swine flu infections, older adults with H1N1 infections are more likely to develop pneumonia with pneumococcus bacteria.  The Centers for Disease Control has urged physicians to make sure their adult patients are vaccinated with pneumococcal saccharide (with 23 pneumococcal components) vaccine (e.g. Pneumovax). 

Children should be completely vaccinated to their appropriate age with 7 component pneumococcal vaccine (e.g. Prevnar) to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia.  Pneumonias complicating influenza A H1N1 infections are common reasons for respiratory distress and failure in children and adults requiring hospitalization.

Last updated November 14, 2010 by Dr. Vee