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Nov 25, 2009 11:27 PM by Emily Kiefer

CDC sees increase in pneumonia cases, likely linked to flu pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control is reporting a spike in pneumonia cases.

It thinks it is likely linked to the flu pandemic.

The CDC says flu patients are more vulnerable to bacteria infections of all kinds, including bacterial pneumonia.

It is urging eligible adults to get the pneumonia vaccine as protection.

It issued the warning after seeing a three-fold increase of pneumonia cases in the Denver area, likely tied to the flu outbreak there.

The CDC expects similar increases across the country.

"Vaccination is the best way to protect against serious pneumoccocal infections and we strongly recommend that adults with chronic conditions like diabetes, emphysema, chronic heart, lung, liver disease take advantage of the pneumococcal vaccine," said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC.

Only 25 percent of eligible adults have received the vaccine.

It is widely available, but not being distributed a part of the government flu vaccine program.

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