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Signs and Symptoms

Pneumonia symptoms vary, depending on the age and health status of the person affected and on the microorganism causing the infection. Very young infants may grunt and wheeze, breathe rapidly, and be irritable and/or lethargic. The elderly may experience confusion. Bacterial pneumonia may emerge following a viral infection and may just be seen as a lingering or worsening cold or bout of the flu. Common pneumonia symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Complications that can occur with pneumonia include the buildup of fluid in the lungs, the scarring of lung tissue (which can lead to recurrent infections), respiratory failure, sepsis, and rarely lung abscesses (pockets of pus in lung tissue).

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