Pneumonia

This information is useful for children and adults
Woman in bed sick with a fever.
Why Yale Medicine?
  • We are skilled at treating everything from the most basic form of pneumonia to the more serious cases that might require hospitalization.
  • Our researchers are studying how to better identify different types of pneumonia strains, so that the antibiotics are the best fit.
  • We are also involved in developing ways to better diagnose lung infections through the Yale Center for Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment (CPIRT).

Whether it’s bacterial, viral—or the friendlier sounding “walking” pneumonia—chances are you or someone you know has had this illness at some point. The infection, which is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, can occur in one or both of the lungs. It can be mild or life-threatening, especially to the elderly, the very young or those with compromised immune systems.

There are more than 30 different types of pneumonia, and identifying the correct one isn’t always easy. At Yale Medicine, our physicians are experienced and skilled at treating everything from the most basic form of pneumonia to the more serious cases that might require hospitalization.

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine are studying how to better identify different types of pneumonia strains, so that the antibiotics given to patients are the best possible fit. “There has been a big push regarding antibiotics stewardship—how to treat patients appropriately with antibiotics, who needs antibiotics, and also what are some of the non-antibiotic alternatives to treat patients,” says Charles Dela Cruz, MD, a pulmonologist at Yale Medicine. 

Pneumonia is an infection in which the air sacs in one or both of the lungs are filled with fluid or pus and become inflamed. The inflammation causes cough with phlegm, along with fever, chills and breathing troubles.

Pneumonia is often classified by where it was acquired. Hospital-acquired pneumonia, picked up during a hospital stay, is often more severe for two reasons: one, because the bacteria may be resistant to antibiotics and, two, the people who get it are already sick. Community-acquired pneumonia means it was acquired outside of a medical setting.