Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Even though some people are at higher risk than others, anyone can get pneumonia. The cause of pneumonia isn’t always pneumococcal bacteria, but they are the most common cause.
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to severe, depending on factors such as the type of germ causing the infection, and your age and overall health. Mild signs and symptoms often are similar to those of a cold or flu, but they last longer.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Cough, which may produce phlegm
- Chest pain when you breathe or cough
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
Early treatment for pneumonia is most effective. See a doctor right away if you think you might have pneumonia. Exactly which drug is used to treat pneumonia depends on the type of germ and on your doctor’s treatment strategy. In most cases, treatment must be continued until most symptoms are gone.
- Antibiotics can cure bacterial pneumonia and make recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia much quicker.
- Antiviral drugs can be used to treat certain types of viral pneumonia, but there is not yet any treatment that works against all causes.
- Supportive treatment often helps. This can include medicines that ease chest pain and relieve violent coughing. Sometimes oxygen is needed. In all cases, a proper diet speeds recovery.