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How Long Does Pneumonia Last?

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  • Healthy people usually do not have 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

After pneumonia-causing bacteria, fungi or viruses enter your body, it can take some time 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.1

The type of organism that causes the pneumonia may also affect how long it takes for symptoms to appear. If the pneumonia comes as a complication of flu, you may feel the symptoms in as little as 12 hours after you’ve been exposed to the flu virus. However, with “walking” pneumonia — a very mild case of pneumonia you may not even know you have, it may take weeks before symptoms manifest.2,3 Usually, the severity and duration of pneumonia depend on certain factors. These include:4

Healthy individuals usually do not have any difficulty recovering from pneumonia — it’s usually treated as a “mild illness” that goes away in two to three weeks. Nevertheless, some symptoms may linger for several weeks 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 maintain a healthy lifestyle: Eat healthy, get enough rest and sleep, and avoid smoking. These proactive measures will also help you avoid severe complications that may arise from this illness.

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Pneumonia Causes

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Pneumonia In Elderly

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Sources and References

  • 1 MedicineNet, June 27, 2017
  • 2 KidsHealth, August 2014
  • 3 WebMD, September 2018
  • 4 WebMD, September 13, 2017
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