Pneumonia means inflammation of the lungs due to infection, most commonly a viral infection, such a...
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Pneumonia means inflammation of the lungs due to infection, most commonly a viral infection, such as a cold or flu. Bacteria, fungi, or other organisms can also cause pneumonia. Risk increases with old age, youth, or a suppressed immune system. Hospitalized patients also have an increased risk of pneumonia that can be difficult to treat and is a growing concern. Symptoms of pneumonia vary: sudden chest pain, fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath. Pneumonia kills thousands of people each year, particularly children. Treatment depends on the cause: antibiotics for bacterial infection, over-the-counter medications for symptoms of viral infections, such as cold and flu, and anti-fungal medications for fungal infections. Severe pneumonia may require hospitalization for 3 or 4 days to receive intravenous medications, supplementary oxygen, and usually a chest x-ray.