"What Is Pneumonia?


Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. The air sacs in the lungs (called alveoli) fill up with pus and other fluid, which makes it hard for oxygen to reach the bloodstream.

Someone with pneumonia may have a fever, cough, or trouble breathing.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Pneumonia?

Symptoms vary depending on a person's age and what caused the pneumonia, but can include:

  • very fast breathing (in some cases, this is the only symptom)
  • breathing with grunting or wheezing sounds
  • working hard to breathe; this can include flaring of the nostrils, belly breathing, or movement of the muscles between the ribs
  • fever
  • cough
  • stuffy nose
  • shaking chills
  • vomiting
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain (because a child is coughing and working hard to breathe)
  • less activity
  • loss of appetite (in older kids) or poor feeding (in infants), which may lead to dehydration
  • in extreme cases, bluish or gray color of the lips and fingernails"

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