Bacterial Pneumonia (cont.)
What Are Bacterial Pneumonia Symptoms and Signs?
Doctors often refer to typical and atypical pneumonias, based on the signs and symptoms of the condition. This can help to predict the type of bacteria causing the pneumonia, the duration of the illness, and the optimal treatment method.
Typical pneumonia comes on very quickly.
- Typical pneumonia usually results in a high fever and shaking chills.
- Typical pneumonia usually leads to the production of yellow or brown sputum when coughing.
- There may be chest pain, which is usually worse with breathing or coughing. The chest also may be sore when it is touched or pressed.
- Typical pneumonia can cause shortness of breath, especially if the person has any chronic lung conditions such as asthma or emphysema.
- Because chest pain also can be a sign of other serious medical conditions, do not try to diagnose self-diagnose.
- Older people can have confusion or a change in their mental abilities as a sign of pneumonia or other infection.
Atypical pneumonia has a gradual onset.
- It is often referred to as "walking pneumonia."
- Sometimes it follows another illness in the days to weeks before the pneumonia.
- The fever is usually lower, and shaking chills are less likely.
- There may be headache, body aches, and joint pain.
- Coughing may be dry or produce only a little sputum. The person may not have any chest pain.
- Abdominal pain may be present.
- There may be other symptoms, such as feeling tired or weak.
- Often the abnormalities on the chest X-ray appear worse than what the patient appears to have clinically, hence the term "walking pneumonia."
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2016
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