Viral pneumonia: Treatment

Treatment

Some of the more serious forms of viral pneumonia can be treated with antiviral medications. Antibiotics are not effective.

Treatment may also involve:

  • Increased fluids
  • Oxygen
  • Use of humidified air

A hospital stay may be necessary to prevent dehydration and to help with breathing if the infection is serious.

Prognosis (Expectations)

Most cases of viral pneumonia are mild and get better without treatment within 1 – 3 weeks, but some cases are more serious and require hospitalization.

Complications

More serious infections can result in respiratory failure, liver failure, and heart failure. Sometimes, bacterial infections occur during or just after viral pneumonia, which may lead to more serious forms of pneumonia.

Calling Your Health Care Provider

Call your health care provider if symptoms of viral pneumonia develop.

Pictures & Images

Lungs

Review Date : 9/24/2008
Reviewed By : Benjamin Medoff, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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