Pneumonia is an infection of the lung. It is caused by bacteria or viruses or bacteria-like germs. Usually, it does NOT spread from person to person.

To cure the infection:

  • If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, start them right away. Do NOT delay getting them. Antibiotics take several doses to start to work.
  • If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, take them until the medicine is all gone. Do NOT stop early because you feel better.
  • Drink at least one glass of water every hour. This helps thin the sputum so that you can cough it up.
  • Take several deep breaths, then cough several times each day
  • Use a cool (not hot) vaporizer.

To help with fever or pain:

  • Take Tylenol® (acetaminophen) per the box instructions, OR take Advil® (ibuprofen) per the box instructions, OR take the medication your doctor has prescribed for pain.

How much should you be doing?

  • Rest in bed until your temperature is normal (37 degrees C or 98.6 degrees F).
  • Start your normal activities slowly.
  • Most people with pneumonia feel tired. It can take as long a 6 weeks to get back to your normal self.

What should you eat?

  • Eat a proper balanced diet even if you are not hungry. Try soups and juices if you are having difficulty with solid foods. No alcohol.

Go to your doctor if …

  • your fever continues
  • your chest pain does not get better
  • you ahve vomiting or diarrhea
  • you are coughing up bloody sputum
  • you have any problem with your medicines

Visit the OUCC or the Emergency Department if …

  • you have a lot of trouble breathing, or your skin color, fingernail or lip color is darker or blue
  • you continue to have a fever, chills and feel worse
  • you become confused, have a severe headache or neck stiffness
  • you are becoming sicker