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What is bilateral pneumonia?

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Bilateral pneumonia, also known as double pneumonia, means at least one lobe in both lungs has the disease, according to MedicineNet.. The diagnosis does not indicate a more severe pneumonia nor the cause of the disease in the lungs. Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by bacteria or viruses. Symptoms of the disease include coughing, fever and difficulty breathing, according to WebMD.

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People with mild symptoms have what doctors may call "walking pneumonia" because these patients engage in normal daily activities. Older people may exhibit other symptoms, such as delirium or confusion. WebMD explains more severe symptoms include coughing up blood, vomiting, fast heartbeat, fatigue and chills.

Doctors normally diagnose pneumonia with a combination of a physical exam, chest X-ray and complete blood count. WebMD states older or sicker patients may need more tests. A doctor may test mucus in the lungs to determine what caused the pneumonia. The cause of pneumonia determines the course of treatment.

At home, pneumonia patients need to drink plenty of water to loosen phlegm. The American Lung Association indicates plenty of rest and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, may help pneumonia symptoms. Hospital treatments include intravenous antibiotics or antiviral medication, oxygen therapy and breathing treatments. Many pneumonia patients are healthy enough to resume normal activities in less than a week. Middle-aged people or patients with other underlying conditions may take weeks to recover fully from pneumonia.

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