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Community Acquired Pneumonia

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is community-acquired pneumonia (CAP)?

CAP is a lung infection that you get outside of a hospital or nursing home setting. Your lungs become inflamed and cannot work well. CAP may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

The Lungs

What increases my risk for CAP?

What are the signs and symptoms of CAP?

How is CAP diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will listen to your lungs. You may need a chest x-ray. You may also need any of the following if you are admitted to the hospital:

How is CAP treated?

Treatment will depend on the type of germ causing your CAP, and how bad your symptoms are. You may need antibiotics for at least 5 days if your pneumonia is caused by bacteria. Antiviral medicines may be given if you have viral pneumonia. You may need medicines that dilate your bronchial tubes. You may need oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may need to be admitted to the hospital if your pneumonia is severe.

What can I do to manage CAP?

How can I prevent CAP?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.