Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by bacteria or viruses. Community-associated pneumonia can be acquired through everyday activities. Usually pneumonia is not life-threatening and can be treated at home, although some forms can be life threatening, especially in babies, older adults and people with other existing diseases.
Pneumonia that you get in the hospital or nursing home is called healthcare-acquired pneumonia and is more severe since people in hospitals or nursing homes are already ill. Healthcare-acquired pneumonia occurs more often in people with COPD or a weak immune system, those who experienced a long-term hospitalization, are taking many antibiotics or are on a breathing machine, or have trouble swallowing.
Common symptoms of both types of pneumonia are a cough that produces a lot of mucus (a slimy substance), fever, shortness of breath, chills, feeling tired, nausea/vomiting, a fast heartbeat and diarrhea.