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Pneumonia: Frequently Asked Questions

How does community-acquired pneumonia differ from hospital-acquired pneumonia?

Community-acquired simply means that the pneumonia infection was not contracted while the patient was in the hospital. People who are already in the hospital for another illness are vulnerable to bacterial infections and may contract pneumonia. This is called hospital-acquired pneumonia.

What are the primary causes of pneumonia?

Pneumonia is usually triggered when a person’s immune system is weakened. Bacteria that invade your lungs are the most common cause of pneumonia, but the condition can also be the result of a viral or fungal infection.

Who is at risk of getting pneumonia?

People who have deficient immune systems are more vulnerable to pneumonia. Those with an increased risk include the elderly, young children, people suffering from AIDS and chronic lung diseases, smokers, and people undergoing medical treatment, such as chemotherapy.

What is walking pneumonia?

Walking pneumonia refers to a form of pneumonia that is mild enough that you may not even know you have it. You may be able to “walk” around with this type of pneumonia, while suffering from flu-like symptoms. Walking pneumonia is common in teens, and is usually caused by a tiny microorganism known as Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

What are the most common symptoms of pneumonia?

Although there are various degrees of pneumonia, the most common symptoms include chest pain, a sustained high fever, headache, greenish-yellow or rust-colored mucus, a productive cough, shaking and chills, shortness of breath and fatigue. Some people may show all these signs, while other may have only a few symptoms.

How do I know when to get help from a healthcare professional?

You should call your healthcare professional right away if you have been sick and show these symptoms: 1) your mucus changes from white to green or rust-colored 2) your fever is higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and you have chills and excessive sweating 3) you are short of breath and have chest pain when you breathe.

Can a healthy diet and exercise prevent me from getting pneumonia?

The best treatment for pneumonia is prevention. Following a good diet, exercising regularly and getting enough rest can help boost your defense system against illnesses and help you recover from sickness quickly.

Is pneumonia contagious?

Pneumonia is a contagious condition, but some people are more susceptible to it than others. Many of the germs that cause pneumonia are widespread in the environment. These germs are sometimes found in the mouths of healthy people and don’t cause illness. Some people are more vulnerable to catching pneumonia because their immune systems are weak and they can’t fight off the germs.

Can antibiotics treat pneumonia?

Pneumonia can usually be effectively treated with antibiotics. Your health care professional may prescribe LEVAQUIN, an antibiotic used to treat lung, sinus, skin and urinary tract infections caused by certain germs called bacteria. In most patients, LEVAQUIN has been clinically proven to be a safe, well-tolerated and highly effective treatment for pneumonia.

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