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    What Is Pneumonia?

    Pneumonia is an infection that causes the air sacs of the lungs (doctors call these “alveoli”) to fill up with fluid or pus. That can make it hard for you to breathe in enough oxygen to reach your bloodstream.

    Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Sometimes, you can get it from breathing in toxic chemicals that damage your lung tissue.

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    It can affect just one lung (single pneumonia) or both (double pneumonia). You can also have it and not know it. Doctors call this “walking pneumonia.”

    If your pneumonia is caused by a bacteria or virus, you can spread it to someone else. If it’s caused by breathing in toxic fumes, you can’t.

    Anyone can get this lung infection. But infants younger than 2 and people over age 65 have the highest odds. That’s because their immune systems might not be strong enough to fight it.

    Lifestyle factors, like smoking cigarettes and drinking too much alcohol can also increase your chances of getting pneumonia.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on December 01, 2016

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