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Pneumonia

Pneumonia is defined as an infection of the lung tissue that may manifest as cough, fever and chills, sputum (phlegm) production, and breathlessness. The diagnosis of pneumonia is usually confirmed by the presence of an infiltrate (a dense abnormality) on the chest x-ray. Frequently, there is elevation of the white blood cell count (a blood test which may indicate presence of infection when elevated). Pneumonia is most commonly caused by bacteria but may also be caused by viruses or other infectious agents. Pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics administered either at home or in the hospital, depending on the severity of the patient's illness.

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