Fast Facts You Need to Know about Chlamydia pneumoniae Infections

1. Most people with a Chlamydia pneumoniae infection have mild illness or do not have symptoms at all.

  • Some people can develop serious infections like pneumonia (lung infection), particularly older adults.
  • Symptoms of a C. pneumoniae infection usually start gradually. It can take someone 3 to 4 weeks to get sick after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • After gradual onset, symptoms due to C. pneumoniae infection may continue for several weeks or months even with appropriate antibiotic treatment.

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2. Most people with a C. pneumoniae infection will recover on their own without antibiotics.

  • If needed, doctors can use several types of antibiotics to treat C. pneumoniae infections.
  • Doctors generally do not prescribe antibiotics to help prevent someone from developing a C. pneumoniae infection if they are exposed to the bacteria.

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3. The true number of people affected by C. pneumoniae infection is unknown.

  • There is no national reporting or surveillance system for this infection.
  • It is likely that many pneumoniae infections are not identified due to it usually only causing mild or no symptoms.

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Page last reviewed: November 15, 2021