Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes inflammation and the buildup of mucus and fluids in the lungs. Community-acquired pneumonia is pneumonia that develops in people who are not, and have not recently been, in a hospital or other health care facility.
Usually, pneumonia in children develops as a result of an illness that is caused by a virus, such as the common cold and the flu (influenza). It can also be caused by bacteria or fungi. While the common cold and influenza can spread from person to person (are contagious), pneumonia itself is not considered contagious.
Your child is more likely to develop pneumonia during the fall, winter, and spring. This is when children spend more time indoors and in close contact with others.
Symptoms depend on your child's age and the cause of the condition. If caused by a virus, the pneumonia may be mild, and symptoms may develop slowly. If the pneumonia is caused by bacteria, symptoms may develop quickly and may cause higher fever.
These symptoms may represent a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.).
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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