Streptococcal pneumonia (formerly called pneumococcal pneumonia) is an infection of the lungs. It is a common type of bacterial pneumonia.
Streptococcal pneumonia can be passed from person to person through mucus and saliva, like the common cold. Fortunately it is not usually as contagious as colds.
Streptococcal pneumonia is caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcal bacteria. It often happens after an upper respiratory tract infection, such as a cold or the flu.
The symptoms include:
Your healthcare provider will review your symptoms and examine you. Your provider will check for fever and fast breathing. He or she will also listen to your lungs.
You may have the following tests, which help detect pneumonia. They also help your provider know what medicine you need:
In many cases, streptococcal pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics at home. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine you can take by mouth at home. Or your provider may arrange for you to have intravenous (IV) medicine at home or in the emergency room.
You may need to stay in the hospital if:
If you are hospitalized, in addition to your antibiotics:
Usually you will begin to feel better after 2 to 3 days of antibiotics. If you are an otherwise healthy person, you should feel close to normal after a week or so. If you are over 60 years old or have other medical problems, it may take longer to feel normal.