How can you avoid getting it?
It can be hard to avoid – like other respiratory infections, Chlamydia pneumonia is spread from person to people, when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes in close contact with another person, and they breathe in the bacteria.
There is no vaccine or immunisation treatment to prevent the infection – this means that it’s incredibly important to practice good personal hygiene at all times in order to protect yourself and others from the bacteria. For example, by:
- Regularly washing your hands with soap and water
- Sneezing into a tissue, or away from others (if you have no tissue)
- Safely throwing away any used tissues
- Covering your mouth when you cough
The best tip is to avoid close contact with anyone who is sick with a Chlamydia pneumoniae infection – if you cannot avoid close contact with someone sick, ask your doctor for more advice on how to minimise your risk of getting infected. They may recommend that you wear a mask or gloves for a short time, or give you a form of preventative treatment in rare cases.
You shouldn’t get sick if you’ve only spent a short amount of time with someone who is infected with Chlamydia pneumoniae.
Who is more likely to get it? – anyone of any age can get sick from Chlamydia pneumoniae. However, first-time infections are much more common in children and young adults. Reinfections with the bacteria are most common in older adults.
Workplace exposure – you will be at higher risk of infection if you live or work regularly in very crowded places, which is where outbreaks of Chlamydia pneumoniae usually occur. These include:
- Shared accommodation (like family homes or student halls)
Age and risk – you are slightly more likely to get complications due to Chlamydia pneumoniae (like pneumonia) if you are aged 65 and above. Talk to your nurse or doctor if you are concerned about your risk of getting infected or developing complications from a Chlamydia pneumoniae infection.