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how long pneumonia last

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  • Healthy people usually do not have any difficulty getting over pneumonia – it’s usually treated as a “mild illness” that goes away in two to three weeks
  • If the pneumonia comes as a complication of flu, you may feel the symptoms as soon as 12 hours or as long as three days after you’ve been exposed to the flu virus
 

How Long Does Pneumonia Last?

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After pneumonia-causing bacteria, fungi, or virus enter your body, it can take a while before symptoms appear. In some cases, it can manifest in as little as one to three days. For other people, it takes weeks before a pneumonia infection becomes apparent.

The type of organism that causes the pneumonia may also affect how long before symptoms appear. If the pneumonia comes as a complication of flu, you may feel the symptoms as soon as 12 hours or as long as three days after you’ve been exposed to the flu virus. However, with walking pneumonia, it may take weeks before symptoms show up.1

Factors That Affect Pneumonia’s Duration

Usually, the severity of pneumonia and how long it lasts depends on certain factors. These include:2

The state of your immune system. People with poor immune system health usually have more severe pneumonia compared to people with healthy immune systems.

Your health and age. A young and healthy adult typically gets well quicker than other pneumonia patients. The elderly and sick people (or those who are recovering or struggling with illness) are more prone to severe pneumonia, and they take longer to recover from it.

Complications may also arise, such as septicemia (bacterial infection throughout the body) or bacteremia (bacterial infection in the blood).

The cause of the pneumonia. Viral pneumonia is usually less severe than bacterial pneumonia, and may go away sooner.

How soon you treat it. The sooner you treat pneumonia, the sooner the symptoms disappear.

Healthy people usually do not have any difficulty getting over pneumonia – it’s usually treated as a “mild illness” that goes away in two to three weeks. Nevertheless, some symptoms may linger, such as a cough, for several weeks even after you’re cured.

Older people or those struggling with poor health take much longer to recover from this illness – six to eight weeks, at least.

To help you treat pneumonia and to speed up healing, it’s best for you to follow a healthy lifestyle – eat healthy, get enough rest and sleep, and avoid smoking. These will also help you avoid severe complications that may arise from this illness.

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