Pneumonia - viral; "Walking pneumonia" - viral
Antibiotics do not treat viral pneumonia. Medication only works against influenza pneumonia. These medications are called antivirals.
Treatment may also involve:
A hospital stay may be necessary to prevent dehydration and to help with breathing if the infection is serious.
You are more likely to be admitted to the hospital if you:
However, many people can be treated at home.
You can take these steps at home:
Most cases of viral pneumonia are mild and get better without treatment within 1 - 3 weeks, but some cases are more serious and require hospitalization.
More serious infections can result in respiratory failure, liver failure, and heart failure. Sometimes, bacterial infections occur during or just after viral pneumonia, which may lead to more serious forms of pneumonia.
Call your health care provider if symptoms of viral pneumonia develop.
Mandell LA, Wunderink RG, Anzueto A, et al. Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society consensus guidelines on the management of community-acquired pneumonia in adults. Clin Infect Dis. 2007;44:S27-S72.
Donowitz GR. Acute pneumonia. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 64.
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