How to Get Pneumonia

Pneumonia can be caused by several different types of germs, such as viruses, bacteria, or fungi. These germs are usually found in the mouth and nose of the infected person. They can be spread easily to another person, either through the air or by touching a contaminated surface -- most often, they enter a person's body through the mouth, nose, or eyes.
There are many ways to get pneumonia, and your environment can play a large role in your exposure to the germs that cause it. For example, mycoplasma pneumonia is a common type of pneumonia that usually affects people younger than 40. People who live or work in crowded places, like schools, homeless shelters, and prisons, are most likely to get this type of pneumonia.
Legionella pneumophila is a type of pneumonia germ that has caused serious outbreaks. Outbreaks have been linked to exposure to cooling towers, whirlpool spas, and decorative fountains.
(Click Causes of Pneumonia to learn more about how people get this lung infection. Topics discussed include the specific viruses and bacteria that are responsible for pneumonia, along with information on who is at risk for each type.)
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