When Is a Pandemic No Longer a Pandemic?


Streptococcus pneumoniae (known as “pneumococcus“) is a bacteria that causes diseases such as middle ear infections, pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia. It can cause fatal disease if not treated early enough with effective antibiotics. WHO estimate that around half a million lives are lost due to this bacteria each year. It is the leading cause of pneumonia deaths worldwide, mostly in children under the age of 5yo. Pneumococcus lives in the nose and throat of most of us at times, usually causing no symptoms or disease, but transmitting between us. In some studies up to 76% of children test positive to the bacteria without symptoms; the rate is lower in adults, but between 5% to 20%. It transmits by droplets and direct contact with infected secretions.

This is one example of many micro-organisms that transmit in this way. It is how respiratory-transmitted organisms survive and move amongst their human…

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