Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus. Pneumococcus can cause many different illnesses, ranging from sepsis to more serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis. Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, which is transmitted through the saliva or mucus of infected individuals, but infants, the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
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The Pneumococcal Council of Experts (PACE), an initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, has led efforts to raise awareness of the burden of pneumococcal disease, the most common vaccine-preventable cause of death and a leading infectious killer of children worldwide.