ZocdocAnswersCan healthy people get pneumonia?

Question

Can healthy people get pneumonia?

I'm 32 years old and healthy. Could I get pneumonia? I know old people and sick people get it, but do healthy people get it too? How do you get it?

Answer

Pneumonia is a generic word to describe any infection of the lungs. These infections can occur in people of any age. However, they are more common in the elderly than in people your age, and they tend to be much more severe in the elderly as well. Similarly, as you mention, some people with certain serious medical conditions are at higher risk of getting pneumonia, but it does not sound like you fall into this category! There is a type of pneumonia called 'walking pneumonia' which is relatively common in young people. Typically this starts as a common cold, but then over a period of days to weeks it evolves into chest tightness, feeling fatigued, and a strong cough. If you have these symptoms, you may want to go see your doctor, as blood work or x-rays may be necessary to rule out the condition. If you are ever diagnosed with walking pneumonia, it is easy to treat with antibiotics. As always the best prevention against pneumonia is to make sure you have regular health checks from your doctor, and to make sure you are up to date on all of your immunizations. Talk to your primary care doctor if you have more questions about this issue.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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