Pneumonia is a communicable disease, which means it can be spread from one person to another, according to GlobalHealth.gov. Communicable diseases are also referred to as infectious or contagious diseases.
The pathogens that cause pneumonia are found in respiratory droplets which are expelled when someone coughs or sneezes. Experts from the New York State Department of Health say pneumonia spreads when other people come into contact with these droplets, whether the contact is direct or via airborne particles. The symptoms of viral pneumonia are usually not as bad as those caused by bacterial pneumonia, according to WebMD. Pneumonia symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and chest pain that worsens with coughing or inhaling.