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Viral Pneumonia (cont.)

Viral Pneumonia Causes

Viral pneumonia can be caused by influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and the herpes or varicella viruses as well as those that cause the common cold (parainfluenza, coronaviruses, and adenoviruses).

Depending on which virus is involved, the symptoms and severity and treatment varies.

  • Influenza A and B usually occur in the winter and spring. In addition to the respiratory symptoms, you can get headache, fever, and muscle aches. Your chance of catching the flu decreases significantly (but is not totally prevented) if you get immunized ("flu shot") every year.
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is most common in the spring. It usually infects children and can cause outbreaks in day-care centers and hospital nurseries.
  • Herpes or varicella pneumonia are rare unless you are infected with chickenpox. This tends to be a more common complication in adults who get chickenpox.
  • Adenovirus and parainfluenza viral pneumonias are often accompanied by cold symptoms such as runny nose and pinkeye (conjunctivitis).

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