- During an outbreak of severe pneumonia among new army recruits, an epidemiological investigation combined with repeated nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal cultures from sick and healthy contacts subjects was conducted. Fifteen pneumonia cases and 19 influenza-like illness cases occurred among 596 recruits over a 4-week period in December 2005. Pneumonia attack rates reached up to 5.5%. A single pneumococcus serotype 5 clone was isolated from blood or sputum cultures in 4 patients and 30/124 (24.1%) contacts. Immunization with 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine supplemented with a 2-dose azithromycin mass treatment rapidly terminated the outbreak. Carriage rates dropped to <1%, 24 and 45 days after intervention.