“Typical pneumonia” is a severe illness. It is usually caused by bacteria, such as
Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae
. Typical pneumonia tends to strike older individuals, especially those with heart or lung conditions.
In contrast, atypical pneumonia tends to be a milder illness. It is caused by a different assortment of bacteria or viruses, and it usually strikes healthy young people.
All types of pneumonia are potentially serious conditions that require care from your doctor.
—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the chest; may reveal pneumonia
Blood tests—testing your white blood cells can determine whether you are experiencing a bacterial or a viral infection. Other blood tests can identify the presence of certain bacteria or viruses.
Blood cultures—bacteria or viruses may be grown from samples of your blood
Sputum test—if you are coughing up sputum, you may be asked to collect some in a sterile container for testing; can reveal what type of bacteria is causing your illness
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Usually, atypical pneumonia due to bacteria can be treated with oral antibiotics at home. However, more severe pneumonia may require intravenous antibiotics in the hospital. Some of the antibiotics used to treat atypical pneumonia include
Viral pneumonia will not respond to antibiotic treatment.
If you are severely ill from pneumonia, you may need extra oxygen.
If you are diagnosed with pneumonia, follow your doctor's
To help reduce your chances of getting pneumonia, take the following steps:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a