Pneumonia symptoms can vary greatly, depending on any underlying conditions you may have and the type of organism causing the infection. Pneumonia often mimics the flu, beginning with a cough and a fever, so you may not realize you have a more serious condition.
neumonia is commonly caused by viruses, such as the influenza virus (flu) and adenovirus. Other viruses, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), are common causes of pneumonia in young children and infants. Bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause pneumonia, too. People with bacterial pneumonia are usually sicker than those with viral pneumonia, but can be effectively treated with antibiotic medications.
You may have heard the terms "double pneumonia" or "walking pneumonia." Double pneumonia simply means that the infection is in both lungs. It's common for pneumonia to affect both lungs, so don't worry if your doctor says this is what you have — it doesn't mean you're twice as sick.
Symptoms of pneumonia caused by bacteria in otherwise healthy people younger than 65 usually come on suddenly. They often start during or after an upper respiratory infection, such as influenza or a cold, and may include:
* Cough, often producing mucus (sputum) from the lungs. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood.
* Fever, which may be less common in older adults.
* Shaking, "teeth-chattering" chills (one time only or many times).
* Fast, often shallow, breathing and the feeling of being short of breath.
* Chest wall pain that is often made worse by coughing or breathing in.
* Fast heartbeat.
* Feeling very tired (fatigue) or feeling very weak (malaise).
* Nausea and vomiting.