The consumer & scientific resource hub for pneumococcal disease

How to get treated?

How is pneumococcal disease diagnosed and treated?

Invasive pneumococcal disease – particularly septicaemia and meningitis – is a very serious illness.

Almost all people with IPD (children and adults) will be obviously sick, and in need of urgent medical care.

Because other bacteria can cause similar infections, specific tests are done to detect Streptococcus pneumoniae. Tests for suspected pneumococcal disease may include a careful physical examination, a chest x-ray, a test of sputum (‘phlegm’), blood tests, urine tests, and sometimes a CT scan and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) test by lumbar puncture.

Treatment is urgent, and involves an antibiotic, usually given intravenously, and hospital care, sometimes intensive care. 

Treatment options for pneumococcal disease include:

  • Antibiotics such as penicillin
  • Pain-relieving medication
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Rest
  • Hospital admission in severe cases – for example, meningitis.