Senior citizens and infants are most at risk for contracting pneumonia.

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of the lungs.

What causes pneumonia?

Many germs – such as bacteria, viruses and fungi – can cause pneumonia. You also can get pneumonia by inhaling a liquid or chemical. People most at risk are older than 65 or younger than 2 or already have health problems. 

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

  • Symptoms may vary from mild to severe. See your healthcare provider promptly if you have:
  • High fever
  • Shaking chills
  • Cough with phlegm that doesn’t improve or gets worse
  • Shortness of breath with normal daily activities
  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
  • Feel suddenly worse after a cold or cough 

How does Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center diagnose pneumonia?

Your doctor will use lab tests, your medical history and a physical exam to determine whether you have pneumonia. 

How does Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center treat pneumonia?

Treatment depends on what kind of pneumonia you have. If bacteria are the cause, then antibiotics should help. If you have viral pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medicine. Vaccines also are available to prevent pneumonia. Other preventive measures include frequent hand washing and not smoking.


Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 


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