What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia in Adults?

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Symptoms of pneumonia in adults under age 60 include fever, chills, mucus-producing cough, rapid shallow breathing and chest pain that becomes worse with coughing. Older adults tend to have fewer of these symptoms but often exhibit confusion or delirium with the disease, according to WebMD.

Walking pneumonia is a milder type of pneumonia that is more likely to affect individuals living and working in crowded places, such as schools, prisons and homeless shelters. This type of pneumonia is infectious. The bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae is the most common cause. This bacteria spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, warns WebMD. With this type of infection, the person is often able to go to work and continue daily routines. Fungi, viruses, inhaled food and chemicals can also cause pneumonia.

Doctors treat pneumonia in a variety of ways. When it has a bacterial source, they use antibiotics to eliminate the infection, according to Mayo Clinic. If the condition does not improve with one antibiotic, the patient’s doctor may recommend using another. Fever reducers, including aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are also helpful. If coughing interferes with sleep, the doctor might prescribe medication to stop it so the patient can get sleep. However, since a cough helps in clearing the lungs and healing, complete elimination is not desirable.