Know the basics
What is viral pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. In viral pneumonia. Infection is caused by viruses, especially influenza virus because these viruses can weaken lung defenses.
How common is viral pneumonia?
People of any age can be affected. Smokers, elderly people, and people with chronic lung diseases may be most likely to get it. People with weak immune (infection-fighting) systems because of chemotherapy are especially at risk of getting cytomegalovirus pneumonia.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of viral pneumonia?
Usual symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, muscle aches, tiredness, and poor appetite. Runny nose, irritated eyes, sore throat, and symptoms outside the respiratory tract (such as rashes) may occur.
There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
See your doctor if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, fever (39oC or higher) and a persistent cough, especially coughing up phlegm.
Know the causes
What causes viral pneumonia?
The usual causes include influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, and varicella virus. Virus can also be directly transferred to the nose, mouth or eyes by hands that touched something contaminated with virus.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for viral pneumonia?
Certain factors may increase your risk of developing viral pneumonia:
- You are suffering from chronic diseases.
- Suppressed or weaken the immune system.
- You are hospitalized.
Not having risk factors does not mean you cannot get hamstring strains. These factors are for reference only. You should consult your doctor for more details.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is viral pneumonia diagnosed?
Antiviral drugs may be prescribed, depending on the virus and how severe symptoms are. Viral pneumonia in healthy people goes away in 1 to 2 weeks, but cough and fatigue may last for many weeks. Viral pneumonia can be serious and life-threatening in people with other medical illnesses.
How is viral pneumonia treated?
It’s hard to tell whether a virus, and which virus is causing pneumonia. Many viruses produce similar symptoms and few specific diagnostic tests exist. The doctor usually diagnoses pneumonia by using chest examination, x-rays, and maybe tests of blood and respiratory secretions. Studies of blood and sputum are usually done to make sure a bacterial infection isn’t also present.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage viral pneumonia?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with viral pneumonia :
- Tell your doctor about all your medical problems
- Tell your doctor about medicines you take, prescription and over-the-counter.
- Call your doctor if you’re getting worse or don’t feel better after 2 to 3 days.
- Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant.
- Call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if shortness of breath gets worse
- Try to cough up as much phlegm as possible.
- Put an air humidifier in your room so you can breathe moist air, which helps get rid of phlegm.
- Drink plenty of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated
- Use acetaminophen or aspirin except in children) for fever and pain.
- Call your doctor if you think that you have pneumonia because you have fever, too much sputum, increased shortness of breath, or chest pain.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: December 13, 2019
Ferri, Fred. Ferri’s Netter Patient Advisor. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders / Elsevier, 2012. Download version.