Steptococcus pneumonia is the most common bacterium that causes bacterial meningitis which is a potentially fatal disease without early medical intervention. This bacterium also causes many types of other deadly diseases such as pneumonia (inflammation of the lung tissue), meningitis (inflammation of the meningeal layer of the brain), otitis media (infection of the ear), sinusitis (inflammation of the sinus) pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium lining of the heart), peritonitis (inflammation of the peritonieal lining of the abdomen) and bacterial cellulitis (inflammation of the skin) commonly found among immuno-compromised patients like those with diabetes.
This harmful bacteria spread through the air from direct person-to-person transmission through close contact via respiratory droplets from the infected patients. Droplets of mucus or saliva containing the bacterium is released into the air through daily involuntary spontaneous actions such as coughing, sneezing and even heavy breathing.
Family members living with the sick patient at home are exposed to great risk of infections, as the bacteria is inhaled into their lungs and bodies. If the patient is in the hospital, other patients in the same ward and hospital staff are also exposed to the bacteria in the air, as the tiny droplets can remain airborne for several hours.
Caretakers of sick patients should maintain a distance where possible and maintain clean hygiene by doing frequent cleaning activities such as washing hands, maintaining clean clothes, and wearing a mask to reduce the inhalation of the bacteria. A good indoor air purifier can help to clean the atmosphere and reduce the number of airborne bacteria, thereby reducing the risks of catching the infection.