This is a lung infection caused by germs (bacteria, a virus or a fungus).
A lung infection (pneumonia) is an illness caused by germs affecting the lungs. The germs can be a bacteria, a virus or a fungus. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. How sick you become depends on the type of germ, your age, other conditions you may have and the ability of your immune system to fight infection.
The most common symptoms of a lung infection are:
Your healthcare provider may suggest a chest X-ray, blood tests, a test to determine the level of oxygen in your blood (pulse oximetry) or a test of the fluid you cough up from your lungs (sputum).
In general, people have a higher chance of developing pneumonia if they are very old, very young, smoke or have chronic medical conditions. Chronic conditions may include diabetes, asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or any condition that weakens the immune system, such as HIV. To reduce the chance of a lung infection you can take these steps:
For treatment, make sure to get plenty of rest and drink enough fluids. Also, avoid cigarette smoke and other respiratory irritants. Your health care provider may order an antibiotic or over-the-counter medication for you.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of pneumonia.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
Make sure you understand your treatment plan, any possible alternatives and what medications are recommended (including possible side effects).
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