Invasive Pneumococcal Disease

Causes

What causes invasive pneumococcal disease? How is it spread?

Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Certain strains cause disease more often than others.

Pneumococcal bacteria are very common. Many people carry them in their nose and throat without getting sick. These bacteria can spread very easily through infected mucus or saliva. You may come in contact with infected mucus or saliva through:

  • close contact with an infected person
  • coughs and sneezes from an infected person
  • touching objects that were recently exposed to an infected person's mucus or saliva (such as shared utensils, cups, tissues and toys) then rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth

Pneumococcal infections may occur following a viral infection like influenza.

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