Viral Pneumonia (cont.)
Follow-up for Viral Pneumonia
- If you are treated at home, your doctor will probably ask you to return in one to four weeks to be checked.
- You may need a repeat chest X-ray when your symptoms have improved. Because some types of pneumonia can look like cancer, a second X-ray will prove that it is not.
Viral Pneumonia Prevention
Germs are spread both by aerosolized droplets that you breathe in (such as from a sneeze) and through body fluids left on surfaces like countertops and door handles. If you avoid people who are coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands frequently, you can reduce your chances of catching a virus.
Fluids and rest during bouts of the common cold can help prevent progression to pneumonia.
If you get a flu shot every fall, you reduce your chances of getting influenza pneumonia.
If you have never had chickenpox, you can get a vaccine to prevent it. You should discuss with your health care professional if the vaccine is indicated for you.
Viral Pneumonia Prognosis
Most people get well quickly with no damage to the lungs. You are at a greater risk for developing complications if you are very old or very young, or if you have a weakened immune system, or if you have chronic heart or lung disease.
Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease
McIntosh, K., and S. Perlman. "Coronaviruses including severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus." In: Mandell, G.L., Bennett, J.E., Dolin, R., eds.
Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Disease. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier, 2009: chap 155.
Perez-Padilla, R., et al. "Pneumonia and Respiratory Failure from Swine-Origin Influenza A (H1N1) in Mexico."
NEJM 361 (2009): 680-689.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2016
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