Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, which can be caused by viruses or by bacteria.
Only bacterial pneumonia is treatable by antibiotics (e.g. Amoxicillin, Amoxicillin-Clavulanate, Clarithromycin etc., choice dependent on the suspected bacteria and the condition of the patient). Viral pneumonia does not respond to antibiotics, but certain cases caused by the Influenza virus may respond to an anti-viral medication called Tamiflu (Oseltamivir). As it is difficult to distinguish bacterial from viral pneumonia in all cases, antibiotics are usually prescribed. With a course of appropriate antibiotics, the fever should settle within 48 to 72 hours from the start of the antibiotics. The coughing may take longer, up to 2 weeks, to resolve. However, severe cases of pneumonia will need to be admitted to hospital for injection antibiotics (e.g. Ampicillin, Amoxicillin-Clavulanate, Ceftriaxone etc., choice dependent on the suspected bacteria and the condition of the patient).
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