The Facts About Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a type of lung infection. This infection can be mild or severe. Pneumonia occurs when an infection causes the alveoli of the lungs to fill with air or pus. As the lungs fill, breathing may become difficult and symptoms such as a fever and chills occur. Pneumonia can affect just one lung or both. The infection can affect people of any age, but infants under the age of 2 and adults over the age of 65 are most commonly affected. Pneumonia can be caused by certain strains of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.


The symptoms of pneumonia can range in severity. Some people may have such minor symptoms that they may feel like they have a cold or flu, while others may require a stay in the hospital to be treated. Some people infected with pneumonia, especially babies, will not show any overt symptoms, other than decreased appetite and fever. The main symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Chest pain (especially when coughing and breathing deeply)
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Decreased mental awareness
  • A deep cough which may produce phlegm
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing


  • Flu viruses
  • Respiratory viruses
  • Fungi
  • Cold viruses
  • Certain types of bacteria
  • Bacteria-like organisms

Some people may acquire pneumonia from a ventilator which is a type of assisted breathing device. Others may contact "walking pneumonia" which is caused by mycoplasmas. Pneumonia is not typically contagious. However, some of the viurses and bacteria can be passed from person to person through saliva, or non hygenic conditions. 


Some people with pneumonia may experience complications including bacteria in the bloodstream, extreme difficulty breathing, and fluid accumulation around the lungs, lung abscess and more. It is important that those who are at a high risk of developing complications such as the elderly, infants under the age of 2, smokers, and those with weakened immune systems receive prompt proper medical treatment.


The risk of getting pneumonia can be reduced in a few ways:

  • Get vaccinated
    • There are vaccines available that prevent against some types of pneumonia. It is important to ensure that vaccines are up-to-date to ensure that they are effective.
  • Get children vaccinated
    • Children under the age of 2 may require a different pneumonia vaccine than children ages 2 to 5 years. Flu shots are also recommended for children that are older than 6 months. These shots can also help to prevent pneumonia. It is extremely important that children who go to daycare get the pneumonia vaccine.
  • Don’t smoke
    • Smoking damages the lungs. This makes them susceptible to respiratory infections including pneumonia.
  • Practice good hygiene
    • Good hygiene including regular hand washing can help to protect people from respiratory infections which may develop into pneumonia.
  • Exercise
    • Exercising regularly can help to strengthen the immune system which can help to ward off infections and viruses such as pneumonia.
  • Eat a healthy diet
    • A healthy diet can ensure that the body is getting enough essential vitamins and minerals to be strong and well.
  • Get enough sleep
    • Sleep is very important to allow the body to regenerate and recover. Sleep is an important function for the immune system to be healthy.


The treatment course for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia that the person has. Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. Viral pneumonia cannot be treated with antibiotics. It requires lots of rest and drinking lots of fluids.  Pneumonia that causes severe symptoms may require a hospital stay. Pneumonia may also cause other health complications in some cases if it is not treated properly.

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

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