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NOTE: A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used to define a disease for public health surveillance. Surveillance case definitions enable public health officials to classify and count cases consistently across reporting jurisdictions. Surveillance case definitions are not intended to be used by healthcare providers for making a clinical diagnosis or determining how to meet an individual patient’s health needs.

Clinical Description

Streptococcus pneumoniae causes many clinical syndromes, depending on the site of infection (e.g., acute otitis media, pneumonia, bacteremia, or meningitis). Starting in 2000, a conjugate pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for prevention of pneumococcal disease in the pediatric population.

Laboratory Criteria For Diagnosis

Isolation of S. pneumoniae from a normally sterile site (e.g., blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or, less commonly, joint, pleural, or pericardial fluid)

Case Classification


A clinically compatible case in a child less than 5 years of age caused by laboratory-confirmed culture of S. pneumoniae from a normally sterile site