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Pneumonia Symptoms

Symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild to very severe, and can vary depending on the type of pneumonia you have. The most common symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Congestion or a runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild headache

Symptoms of more severe pneumonia include:

  • Cough, which may produce green, yellow, or bloody mucus
  • Fever, which can be mild or high
  • Chills and shaking
  • Shortness of breath, which may be present only during physical exertion

Other, less common symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Chest pain that is sharp or stabbing and gets worse when coughing or taking deep breaths
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating or clammy skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Confusion, particularly in older people

Certain symptoms are associated with particular types of pneumonia:

  • Bacterial pneumonia: a fever as high as 105ºF may be experienced. You may also experience sweating, rapid breathing, and a rapid heart rate. You may develop a blue hue in the lips and nail beds due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. Your mental state may be confused or delirious.
  • Viral pneumonia: the initial symptoms of viral pneumonia are similar to symptoms of the flu. You may experience fever, a dry cough, headache, weakness, and muscle pain. However, within 12 to 36 hours, you will notice increased shortness of breath and a cough that gets progressively worse and produces mucus. You may also experience a high fever and blueness in your lips.

Most pneumonia symptoms subside within a week or two following treatment, but a feeling of tiredness or fatigue can last for a month or longer.