Pneumococcal disease, whooping cough, campylobacteriosis most common infectious diseases in older adults

The population is ageing. Data of notifiable infectious diseases among those aged 65 years and older have been analysed by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The results show that invasive pneumococcal disease was the most common infectious disease, followed by whooping cough (pertussis) and campylobacteriosis.

Researchers at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology studied data from the Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS) over the period from 1993 to 2011. Note that less serious infections or infections with lower outbreak potential were excluded.

The data have also been analysed for younger age groups to compare the results of the population aged 65 years and older with the younger population.

Overall, fewer cases with notifiable were reported among the population aged 65 and older compared with the 20-64 year olds. Invasive and infections with resistant microbes were more frequent in the older population, while food-, water- and blood-borne diseases, , and (non-systemic) vaccine-preventable diseases were more frequent in the younger population.

Most diseases did not change over time, although notification of symptomatic MRSA infections increased from 1 case per 100,000 persons in 1995 (the first year this was notifiable) to 14 per 100,000 in 2011.

The study emphasises the importance of preventing invasive bacterial infections in the population 65 years and older. This can be achieved by increasing the uptake of pneumococcal and influenza vaccine uptake among the over 65 age group, and encouraging them or their caregivers to consult a doctor about symptoms of systemic infection. Good compliance to control measures, screening of the at-risk population, and careful use of antibiotics can prevent further increase in antibiotic-resistant infections.

More information: Steens A, Eriksen HM, Blystad H. "What are the most important infectious diseases among those≥ 65 years: a comprehensive analysis on notifiable diseases, Norway, 1993-2011." BMC Infectious Diseases DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-14-57

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Antibiotics – friend and foe?

Nov 18, 2013

European Antibiotic Awareness Day is marked on the 18th November every year. This year in Norway, a seminar for health care providers about antibiotic use and resistance will be held, as well as several local events around ...

Recommended for you

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

28 minutes ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

New bird flu case in Germany

30 minutes ago

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Mali announces new Ebola case

23 hours ago

Mali announced Saturday a new case of Ebola in a man who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in the capital Bamako.

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar: WHO

Nov 22, 2014

An outbreak of plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar, the World Health Organization said, warning that the disease could spread rapidly in the country's densely populated capital Antananarivo.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.