A contagious condition, pneumonia is a type of lung infection that can be caused by a number of different germs, such as bacteria or viruses. Possible symptoms include fever, rapid heart rate, a cough that produces yellow or green phlegm, or chills, among others.
The specific treatment recommended will depend on several factors, including what is thought to be causing the infection, how serious the symptoms are, and what other medical conditions a person has. In many cases, pneumonia can be treated at home, with lots of rest and fluids. Cases that are more severe may require treatment in the hospital.
Several vaccines are available to prevent certain types of pneumonia. These vaccines can't prevent all cases, but they definitely help.
(For more information, click Pneumonia. This article takes a closer look at who this condition affects, how it is diagnosed, and how long it typically takes before you start feeling better. You can also click any of the links in the box to the right for more specific information.)