Mumbai, Dec 13 (UNI) According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), pneumococcal disease claims up to 1.6 million lives worldwide annually, including about one million children under five years of age, a majority of them living in Asia and Africa.
According to a release issued here, five of the top ten countries, with the highest burden of pneumococcal disease, are in Asia which are Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.
Pneumococcal disease, which includes pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis (blood poisoning) and ear infection, is becoming an increasing threat worldwide. Antibiotic-resistant infections are widespread and pneumococcal pneumonia frequently follows influenza infections, making it more likely to occur in the event of an influenza pandemic.
A pneumococcal conjugate vaccine that protects against seven of the most common serotypes is currently available. Over 15 countries in North America, Latin America, Oceania, Europe and the West Asia have already introduced the vaccine and are showing a drastic reduction in the incidence of this disease, the release added.