What is the mortality associated with pediatric pneumococcal infections?

Updated: Jan 14, 2019
  • Author: Meera Varman, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Death resulting from complications of pneumococcal otitis, sinusitis, bacteremia, and pneumonia is rare in otherwise healthy children. As a complication of pneumonia, pneumococcal empyema is not infrequent, even in developed countries, and it remains a significant problem in developing nations.

The case-fatality rate for pneumococcal meningitis is 5-10%. Between 25-35% of children with pneumococcal meningitis develop permanent neurologic sequelae (eg, hearing deficits, paralysis, hydrocephalus). The risk of fulminant pneumococcal infection and death in the high-risk patient population outlined above (eg, children with humoral immunodeficiency, functional asplenia, nephrotic syndrome) is much higher than the risk in otherwise healthy children.

A study that described the epidemiology, serotype distribution, clinical presentations, and outcomes of invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD) in children with and without comorbidity reported that in children with comorbidity, IPD results in higher mortality, and a large proportion of disease is due to serotypes not included in current conjugate vaccines. [9, 10]

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