How long does pneumonia last?

Pneumonia recovery time depends on the severity, the type of pneumonia, and the individual.  It is also important to note that even after pneumonia is gone, your body is still working to get back to normal. It means you may feel tired as your energy use to strengthen your immune system. You will also have a cough for several weeks to clear your lungs of remaining mucus. This length of time is called the incubation period, and it depends on many things, especially which bug is causing the illness.

What is pneumonia is?

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. When someone has pneumonia, lung tissue can fill with pus, and other fluid makes it difficult for oxygen in the lung’s air sacs to reach the bloodstream. With pneumonia, a person may have difficulty in breathing and have a cough and fever. Occasionally, chest or abdominal pain and vomiting are symptoms, too.

Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia. Almost 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason for children to get hospitalized in the United States.

Stages of Pneumonia:-

There are four stages of pneumonia:


This stage occurs within the first 24 hours of contracting pneumonia. During congestion, the body will experience vascular engorgement, multiple bacteria, and intra-alveolar fluid. The lungs will be very heavy and red. Capillaries in the alveolar walls become congested. During this stage, a person will experience coughing and deep breathing.

Red Hepatization :-

This stage occurs two to three days after congestion. At this point, the lungs will be red, firm, and airless, resembling the liver. It affects alveoli hardly. During the red hepatization stage, the alveoli will contain many neutrophils, erythrocytes, desquamated epithelial cells, and fibrin.

Grey Hepatization:-

This stage will occur two to three days after red hepatization and is an aseptic stage. The lungs will appear to be a grayish brown or yellow color because of the lack of red cells. Your lungs will also appear to be paler and drier than usual. There will be persistence of fibrin exudate during this stage. 


The resolution is the last and recovery stage of pneumonia. Complete healing occurs when the mucus experiences progressive enzymatic digestion. It will produce waste that is eventually reabsorbed, ingested by macrophages, coughed up, or reorganized by fibroblasts.

Symptoms of Pneumonia:-

It is common for a person with pneumonia to start with a cough or sore throat, which also can happen in other infections. But pneumonia is a bit worse because the condition goes down into the lungs.

A person with pneumonia might have these symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest or abdominal pain   
  • Fast breathing
  • Loss of appetite    
  • Exhaustion
  • Vomiting and dehydration

How long does Pneumonia last?

Pneumonia can hang around for about 14 days, or even longer in young children, elderly adults, and those who have weakened immune systems or ongoing illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma. Even healthy people may feel tired or weak for a month or more after their lungs clear up.

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It takes a certain amount of time to start to feel sick after getting exposed to a germ. This length of time is called the incubation period, and it depends on many things, especially which bug is causing the illness. 

For example, with influenza pneumonia, someone may become sick as soon as 12 hours or as long as three days after exposure to the flu virus. But with walking pneumonia, a person may not feel it until 2 to 3 weeks after becoming infected.  Most pneumonia types clear up within a week or two, although a cough can linger for several weeks more. In severe cases, it may take longer to recover completely.


Treatment for pneumonia involves curing the infection and preventing complications. People who have pneumonia can usually treat at home with medication. Although most symptoms ease in a few days or weeks, the feeling of tiredness can persist for a month or more.

Specific treatments depend on the type and severity of your pneumonia, your age, and your overall health. The options include:

  • Antibiotics: These medicines can use to treat bacterial pneumonia. It may take time to identify the type of bacteria. If your symptoms don’t improve, your doctor may recommend a different antibiotic.
  • Fever reducers/pain relievers: You may take these as needed for agitation and discomfort. These include drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.
  • Cough medicine: This medicine may use to calm your cough so that you can rest. Because coughing helps loosen and move fluid from your lungs. If you want to try a cough suppressant, use the lowest dose that helps you rest.


Pneumonia is a disease in which the lungs are affected. It swells alveoli which makes it difficult in the breathing process. Breathing is the way to live, so; you should be careful. If you are facing this situation, then you need treatment. Take your medicine on time according to your doctor’s advice.

If you are aged, you need more and more care and treatment in hospital to speed up recovery because it may be harmful to the aged than young.

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