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What is pneumonia?

  • An inflammation of the lungs caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Infection of the lungs often is secondary to an infection that starts in the nose and throat area and spreads to the lungs.
  • The infection can start in the lungs from an infection that was brought there by the blood.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Fast and difficulty breathing
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Linked to viral or bacterial infections that spread from person to person
  • Most common in the fall, winter, and early spring seasons when children spend more time indoors in close contact with others.

Incubation and Contagious Period

  • Incubation period varies depending on the germ causing the pneumonia.
  • Contagious period depends on the germ causing the pneumonia.

How does the infection spread?

  • Pneumonia does not spread.
  • The germ causing virus/bacteria can spread if the person is still infected at the time the pneumonia has developed.
  • Most germs that cause pneumonia spread by direct or close contact with the mouth and nose secretions or by touching contaminated objects.

How is it controlled?

  • Practicing good hand washing techniques.
  • Teaching children, caregivers, teachers, and family members to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with a disposable facial tissue or with a shoulder when no facial tissue is available.
  • Teach everyone to remove any soiled or contaminated clothing and wash hands immediately after.
  • Dispose of facial tissues that contain any nasal secretions after each usage.
  • Clean and sanitize surfaces that are touched by hands on a daily basis such as toys, tables, and doorknobs.

Caregiver, Teacher, and Family Roles

  • Have current and up to date immunizations to prevent bacterial infections that cause pneumonia.
  • Influenza vaccine is known to prevent pneumonia that sometimes occur as a complication of influenza infection.
  • Children ages 6 to 23 months old, children who are at high risk from influenza, and all caregivers and teachers should receive the influenza vaccine during each fall season.

Group Settings

  • It is unnecessary to exclude children from group settings unless the child is unable to participate or shows any signs or symptoms along with change in behavior.


Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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