Prevention and Treatment
Individuals can protect themselves against exposure to the agents that cause pneumonia by following good hygiene practices. Such practices as frequent hand washing, respiratory etiquette of coughing or sneezing into a tissue, elbow or sleeve, and cleaning surfaces that are regularly touched by hands prevent contact with these pathogens.
Several vaccines are available to help protect against or decrease the risk of certain types of pneumonia, including pneumococcal, Haemophilus influenzae type b, seasonal influenza, and several others. People should talk to their doctors about these options.
Bacterial and mycoplasma pneumonias are typically treated with antibiotics. Fungal infections are treated with antifungal medications. Some infections may require treatment for an extended period of time.
Those with viral pneumonia are sometimes treated with antiviral medications but often are just given supportive care.
People with severe cases of pneumonia may require hospitalization, treatment with oxygen or other breathing assistance, and intravenous antimicrobial drugs.