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Hope Rises as New Pneumonia Vaccine Discovered

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In order to reduce deaths from pneumonia, a new vaccine that could lower death rates drastically has been introduced to tackle the disease. The new vaccine, which is undergoing animal testing, may lower the number ofdeaths even further by targeting dozensof additional strains of S. pneumoniae. The research was published in the journal Science Advances. The vaccine provoked an immune response to 72 forms of S. pneumoniae, including the 23 already included in existing pneumonia vaccines.

It may also anticipate future versions of the bacteria responsible for pneumococcal disease, which includes sepsis and meningitis. Children are most vulnerable to pneumonia, which kills nearly 1.6 million children under five annually worldwide.

An estimated 98 per cent of children who die of pneumonia live in developingcountries, according to a former National President of Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr. Dorothy Esangbedo. A World Health Organisation (WHO) 2008 estimates, shows that about 177,000 children under the age of five died of pneumoniain Nigeria. Explaining this, Esangbedo said, “Which means that within an hour, 20 children across Nigeria will die from pneumonia.

This number is the highest in Africa and second highest overall in the world.” Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the small air sacs known as alveoli.

Typically, symptoms include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and troubled breathing. Pneumonia is usually causedby infection with viruses or bacteria andless commonly by other microorganisms, certain medications and conditions such as autoimmune diseases. The new vaccine, according to researchers is engineered in a way that makes it easy to add sugars (like Pneumovax) for a broad immune response to fight currently undiscovered strains of bacteria.

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