Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes symptoms such as breathing problems, phlegm-producing cough, and fever. It occurs more frequently in men than in women, and in people who smoke, compared to people who don't smoke. Other factors that put you at risk include being over the age of 65 and having a weakened immune system due to chemotherapy, AIDS, or other factors.
When the bacteria, viruses, or other germs that cause this condition are spread, they don't always cause pneumonia. Typically, they will cause upper respiratory symptoms instead, such as a cough, runny nose, or sore throat. These germs are usually found in the mouth and nose of the infected person. They can be spread easily to others, either through the air or by touching a contaminated surface.
(Click Pneumonia to read more about this lung condition and its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. You can also click any of the links in the box to the right for specific information.)