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Is Bacterial Pneumonia Contagious?



Bacterial pneumonia IS contagious.

More Info: Before the discovery of antibiotics, pneumonia claimed the lives of one-third of its victims.  Today, pneumonia is still a deadly disease affecting over 3 million people each year. Pneumonia is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

What Is Bacterial Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites.  In the case of bacterial pneumonia, bacteria invade the lungs and multiply causing inflammation in the alveoli, the lungs’ air sacs, as your body’s immune system attempts to fight the infection.   As the alveoli become inflamed, they fill with fluid making it very difficult for the lungs to process oxygen causing chest pain and shortness of breath.

How Do You Contract Bacterial Pneumonia?

Bacterial pneumonia can be contracted by inhaling the infected air droplets of a person who has bacterial pneumonia.  Your likelihood of catching it will depend on the number of droplets inhaled, your body’s ability to fight infection, and the type of bacteria you are dealing with.

You can also contract bacterial pneumonia from aspirating bacteria to your lungs from your mouth and airways, through the bloodstream, or from another infection somewhere else in the body that deposits in the lungs.



“Pneumonia.” N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2011.

“Pneumonia –” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2011.

“Bacterial Pneumonia.” N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2011.

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