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What should I know about pneumonia?

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Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be mild or so severe that you have to go to the hospital.

It happens if an infection 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.

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

You can get pneumonia in one or both lungs. 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.

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

From: Pneumonia WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Pneumonia,” “Explore Pneumonia: Treatment,” and “Explore Pneumonia: Living With.”

Kids Health: “Pneumonia.”

CDC: “Pneumonia: An Infection of the Lungs.”

 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on September 9, 2019

SOURCES:

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Pneumonia,” “Explore Pneumonia: Treatment,” and “Explore Pneumonia: Living With.”

Kids Health: “Pneumonia.”

CDC: “Pneumonia: An Infection of the Lungs.”

 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on September 9, 2019

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