• Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

What are risk factors for pneumonia?

There are a number of factors that increase the risk of developing pneumonia. These include

  • a weakened immune system, either due to disease such as HIV/AIDS or cancer, or to medications that suppress immune function;
  • infants and children 2 years of age or younger;
  • age 65 and older;
  • having a chronic disease such as cystic fibrosis, COPD, sickle cell anemia, asthma, heart disease, or diabetes;
  • swallowing or coughing problems, as may occur following stroke or other brain injury;
  • being a patient in an intensive-care unit of a hospital, particularly if on ventilator support;
  • malnutrition; and
  • cigarette smoking.

What is the incubation period for pneumonia?

The incubation period for pneumonia depends on the type of organism causing the disease, as well as characteristics of the patient, such as his or her age and overall health status. Most cases of pneumonia begin with symptoms similar to those of a cold or the flu that last longer than the flu (about seven to 10 days) and become more severe. The symptoms of pneumonia can occur from a few days to a week following the flu-like symptoms. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 4/22/2016

American Lung Association. "Pneumonia Fact Sheet." <>.

"Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia." <>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Pneumonia." Feb. 25, 2015. <>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Pneumococcal Vaccination: Who Needs It?" June 19, 2015. <>.

United States. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. "Types of Pneumonia." Mar. 1, 2011. <>.


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