What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a common lung infection that can be caused by a virus, bacteria or fungus.


Common symptoms of pneumonia can include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • fatigue
  • breathing fast or hard
  • chest or stomach pain
  • decrease in appetite
  • chills
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • fussiness


Pneumonia is usually diagnosed based on a physical examination. In some cases, your child’s doctor may order other tests, such as blood tests or a chest x-ray to diagnose the condition.


Treatment may vary depending on the cause of the pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia may be treated with antibiotics. There is no effective medication to treat viral pneumonia, but this type usually clears up on its own.

If you child has severe breathing problems, he or she may need to be treated in the hospital.

Learn more about Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy, Immunology and Sleep services at Boston Children’s Health Physicians.

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Getting a second opinion from one of our clinicians will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your child’s health is in expert hands. Simply call 844-463-2247 to make an appointment with one of our specialists.