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Diagnosing Pneumonia

What Does Pneumonia Look Like?

The signs and symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to severe depending on your age, your health, and the type of germ that is causing the infection. Mild symptoms and signs are often similar to a cold or flu, but may last longer. Newborns and infants may not show any sign of the infection. They might vomit, have a fever and cough, appear restless or tired and without energy, or have difficulty breathing and eating. Older people who have pneumonia sometimes have sudden changes in mental awareness.

Signs and Symptoms May Include:

  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Lower than normal body temperature in people older than age 65, and in people with poor overall health or weakened immune systems
  • Cough, which may produce thick, sticky fluid
  • Chest pain when you breathe deeply or cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and muscle aches
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Headache

You Should See a Doctor If:

  • You have difficulty breathing, chest pain, or a persistent fever of 102 F or higher.
  • A cough that is causing you to cough up pus.
  • If it is a child 2 years or younger with symptoms
  • If you are older than 65
  • If you have an underlying health condition or weakened immune system
  • If you are receiving chemotherapy or taking any medication that suppresses the immune system.

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