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Young girl with fever

Globally, pneumonia (an infection of the lungs) kills nearly 1 million children younger than 5 years old each year. This is more than the number of deaths from any infectious disease, such as HIV infection, malaria, or tuberculosis.

In the United States, about 1 million people have to seek care in a hospital due to pneumonia each year. Unfortunately, about 50,000 people die from the disease each year in the United States. Most of the people affected by pneumonia in the United States are adults.

Vaccines and appropriate treatment (like antibiotics and antivirals) could prevent many of these deaths—globally and in the United States.


Key Facts

  • Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages.
  • Viruses, bacteria, and fungi can all cause pneumonia.
  • Common signs of pneumonia can include cough, fever, and trouble breathing.
  • Bacteria and viruses that commonly cause pneumonia in the community are different from those in the healthcare settings.
  • A common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus).


Prevention Tips

  • Get vaccinated. In the United States, vaccines can help prevent infection by some of the bacteria and viruses that can cause pneumonia.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Clean surfaces that are touched a lot.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow or sleeve.
  • Limit contact with cigarette smoke.
  • Manage and prevent conditions like diabetes.

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