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Atypical Pneumonia Symptoms & Diagnosis


If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume the cause is due to pneumonia. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions.

  • Fever (mild)
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Red eyes
  • Chills
  • Cough, often dry
  • Sore throat
  • Phlegm (sputum) production
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast breathing
  • Intense fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rash


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and do a physical exam. Tests may include the following:

  • Chest x-ray —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the chest; may reveal pneumonia
  • Blood tests—testing your white blood cells can determine whether you are experiencing a bacterial or a viral infection. Other blood tests can identify the presence of certain bacteria or viruses.
  • Blood cultures—bacteria or viruses may be grown from samples of your blood
  • Sputum test—if you are coughing up sputum, you may be asked to collect some in a sterile container for testing; can reveal what type of bacteria is causing your illness

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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