Pneumococcal Pneumonia: Myths and Facts

The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae is the cause of pneumococcal pneumonia, causing 1.6 million deaths globally each year.

That’s more lives than any other single bacteria.

Pneumonia-like illness is in the top 10 causes of death in Australia. More women (1,303), die annually than males (1,019). Fatalities in the 50-80 age group are rising “exponentially” each year.

In the previous post we debunked a concerted attack on the pneumococcal vaccine by antivaccine lobbyists Meryl Dorey and Greg Beattie aka Gregyl. Serendipitously Greg Beattie’s graph strongly reinforced the importance of vaccination in preventing pneumonia, for at-risk groups.

Reluctance to vaccinate is already one cause of preventable pneumococal pneumonia and death in over 65’s and high risk demographics. I’ll leave you to judge the degree of morality involved in fallaciously inflating this problem.

Whilst that was an attempt at misinformation – or “disinformation” to quote Dr. Brian Martin – intended to undermine public confidence, there are separate myths that also apply.

This video © The Australian Lung Foundation addresses the most common.