What causes people to get pneumonia?



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    Pneumonia is defined as an inflamation of the lungs by an infection.  There is no single germ that causes pneumonia, but any bacteria, virus or fungus that infects the lungs can lead to pneumonia.  There are also many ways you can acquire pneumonia.  Pneumonia that you get from picking up infections in the course of your daily life tends to be very mild and easily treated.  In this case, germs from your sinuses, nose or mouth may spread to your lungs and cause inflamation.  Pneumonia can also be acquired in health care facilities, where risks of infections are greater, or by breathing germs in your mouth (from vomit or food, say) directly into your lungs.  Pneumonia is also common among individuals with suppressed immune systems, whose bodies are less capable of combating even minor infections.

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