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Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia. The most common are bacteria and viruses in the air we breathe. Your body usually prevents these from infecting your lungs, but sometimes these germs can overpower your immune system, even if your health is generally good.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

The signs and symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to severe, depending on factors such as the type of germ causing the infection, and your age and overall health. Mild signs and symptoms often are similar to those of a cold or flu, but they last longer. Some pneumonia symptoms are:

  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
  • Confusion or changes in mental awareness (in adults ages 65 or older)
  • Cough, which may produce phlegm
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Lower than normal body temperature (in adults ages 65 or older and people with weak immune systems)
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath

Newborns and infants may not show any signs of the infection, or they may vomit, have a fever and cough, appear restless or tired and without energy, or have difficulty breathing and eating.

Why Choose MyCatholicDoctor?

  • Direct access to compassionate and faithful healthcare providers using your smartphone or computer

  • Providers who integrate Catholic spirituality into your care as needed

  • Labs and tests ordered and scheduled locally

  • Your prescriptions sent electronically to your local pharmacy

  • Visits are convenient, private, and secure

  • Avoid the high costs and inconvenience of urgent care centers and emergency rooms. We accept most insurance plans and healthshares.

When should I see a doctor?

You should see a doctor if you have difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent fever of 102 F or higher, or persistent cough, especially if you are coughing up pus.

It is especially important that people in these high-risk groups see a doctor:

  • Adults older than age 65
  • Children younger than 2 years 
  • People with an underlying health condition or weakened immune system
  • People receiving chemotherapy or taking medication that suppresses the immune system
Can pneumonia be treated through telehealth?

Yes, your telehealth physician can treat most cases of pneumonia. In some cases your doctor may order a chest x-ray, which you can have done at any local imaging center or hospital. If lab work is necessary, your doctor will send you to a local laboratory such as Quest or LabCorp. It is helpful to have a fingertip pulse oximeter at home, this will give the telehealth doctor more information about the oxygen saturation of your blood.

What are the differences in symptoms between pneumonia and COVID?

Both pneumonia and covid can cause a fever, difficulty breathing, cough, fatigue, and chills. Since pneumonia and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses, they both cause many of the same symptoms. It is possible to develop pneumonia from COVID-19, due to the viral infection that causes these infections. It is important to get tested for COVD-19, and to also see a doctor so they can determine the cause of your symptoms, and may need an X-ray or CT scan to do so.

How can I get a COVID test?

We are happy to order a covid test for you, which will be done at any local Quest patient service center or another location of your choice.

Is pneumonia contagious?

You can help prevent the spread of pneumonia by taking some simple hygiene precautions, which include but are not limited to:

  • Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, particularly after touching your nose and mouth, and before handling food.
  • Coughing and sneezing into a tissue, then throwing it away immediately and washing your hands.
  • Not sharing cups or kitchen utensils with others.

There is also a pneumococcal vaccine that protects against Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia. Vaccination is recommended for babies, adults aged 65 or older, and children and adults with certain long-term health conditions, such as a serious heart or kidney condition. 

The pediatric vaccine for pneumococcal pneumonia, Prevnar, is not produced from cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue. 

Determining whether a vaccine is moral or necessary can be tough, and our doctors are dedicated to promoting Catholic teaching and protecting unborn human life. Our physicians are happy to offer vaccine consultation from a Catholic perspective. 

At MyCatholicDoctor, we are committed to making Catholic healthcare accessible. Our doctors are committed to care for the whole person – body, mind and spirit. We are pro-life and pro-eternal life.

Thank you for supporting pro-life healthcare.

Please Support Our Pro-life Healthcare

  • Pray for MyCatholicDoctor. We invite you to join us at 3 p.m. everyday as we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in our own Chapel.
  • Choose MyCatholicDoctor for your own healthcare. Do you need labs checked? Need covid Care? We are here to help you.
  • Prayerfully consider supporting us financially through a tax deductible donation to our 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation. Your donation will directly support providing healthcare.

Our Patrons

Venerable Jerome LeJeune
Venerable Catherine McAuley
Saint Gianna Molla

Our Mission to Serve

By God’s grace, MyCatholicDoctor continues to provide pro-life Catholic healthcare to all of God’s people. We are grateful to the donors that have allowed us to continue our mission. Please prayerfully consider a donation to the MyCatholicDoctor foundation.