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Understanding Pneumonia -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?

The symptoms of viral pneumonia usually are:

  • Low fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
  • Chest pain
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing that usually brings up only a small amount of mucus

Bacterial pneumonia usually has these symptoms:

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  • High fever
  • Cough with thick greenish or rust-colored mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sharp chest pain that is worse with deep breaths
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe fatigue

You may also notice chills, heavy sweating, and mental confusion.

Bacterial pneumonia in children may have these symptoms:

  • Labored and rapid breathing (more than 45 breaths a minute)
  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Bluish skin, lips, or fingertips

Mycoplasma pneumonia symptoms include:

  • Violent attacks of coughing that bring up only a small amount of mucus
  • Chills and fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness for up to a month

When to Call Your Doctor About Pneumonia

Call your doctor if you have any of the symptoms of pneumonia. Most of the time, you will need immediate treatment to get better and avoid complications. Also call your doctor if:

  • Your sharp chest pain does not get better.
  • Your shortness of breath gets worse.
  • Your fingernails, toenails, or skin become dark or turn bluish. 
  • You cough up blood.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on March 17, 2014

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