Pneumonia is an respiratory infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs and can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. Pneumonia is considered serious for infants, young children, people over 65, and those with health problems.
A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and various fungi, can invade the respiratory system and cause pneumonia. Once infected, the air sacs fill with fluid or pus, causing a cough with phlegm as well as fever, chills, and difficulty breathing.
Signs and Symptoms of Pneumonia
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia can range anywhere from mild to severe, depending on factors such as the type of germ causing the infection, age and overall health.
Symptoms of pneumonia include:
- Shaking chills
- Cough, which may produce phlegm
- Chest pain when breathing or coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
When to see a doctor
See a doctor when there is difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent fever over 102 or higher, persistent cough, especially if coughing up phlegm.
It's very important that people in these high-risk groups see a doctor when symptoms are present:
- Newborns or children younger than age 2 with any signs and symptoms
- Adults over age 65
- People with an underlying health condition
- People with a weakened immune system
- Older adults and people with heart failure or chronic lung problems. For this group of people, pneumonia can quickly become a life-threatening condition
Medfast Urgent Care Centers offer fast, professional medical treatment for pneumonia. Our average wait time to see patients is less than an hour, compared to Hospital Emergency Rooms, which can sometimes take longer than three to four hours and are much more expensive. We are professionally staffed with highly-skilled, licensed doctors and nurses, and fully equipped to handle testing and treatment for pneumonia.