Mild pneumonia in most healthy persons does not require hospitalization, with symptoms typically clearing up in two or three weeks. However, more serious infections among especially young and old patients may require brief hospitalization, according to WebMD.
The severity of the ailment and its duration depends on the age and general health of the patient, according to WebMD. In healthy persons, 'walking pneumonia' is not a serious ailment and typically marked by symptoms of cough, fever, chills and tiredness. With adequate treatment and rest at home, most illnesses clear within three weeks. When the infection is caused by bacteria such as streptococcus pneumoniae, symptoms tend to develop much quicker, are more severe and are often treated in the hospital with antibiotic medicines, states KidsHealth.
Older persons affected by pneumonia may require hospitalization due to the condition's adverse effects on other, pre-existing health problems, according to WebMD, In older patients, pneumonia can also cause other complications, including septicemia, where bacteria is released into the blood stream -or even the entire body, in some cases. Young children are also at a higher risk of contracting more severe forms of the sickness because their immune systems are not as strong as those of adults, explains WebMD.