How Contagious Is Pneumonia?

Print this page Bookmark and Share
Parents

My son has bacterial pneumonia, and I'm worried that my other kids will catch it too. What can I do to help prevent it from spreading to the rest of my family?
Joanna

The bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia can be contagious. But once your son is taking the proper antibiotics for his bacterial infection, there is a minimal risk of passing the organism on. Check with the doctor about your son’s specific case.

Encourage everyone in your household to wash their hands often and correctly (for at least 20 seconds, rubbing hands together with soap and warm water), especially after touching any used tissues or handkerchiefs. Avoid sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, or toothbrushes.

Also make sure your children are up to date on their immunizations to help protect them from future infections.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2012

Have a question? Email us.

Although we can't reply personally, you may see your question posted to this page in the future. If you're looking for medical advice, a diagnosis, or treatment, consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional. If this is an emergency, contact emergency services in your area.



Related Articles

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of this contagious infection.
When Is an Illness Contagious? Find out what the experts have to say.
Lungs and Respiratory System By the time we're 70 years old, we will have taken at least 600 million breaths. All of this breathing couldn't happen without the respiratory system.
Why Is Hand Washing So Important? Did you know that proper hand washing is the best way to keep from getting sick? Here's how to teach this all-important habit to your kids.
Pneumocystis Pneumonia Pneumocystis pneumonia can affect infants who have AIDS, cancer, or other conditions that affect the immune system.
X-Ray Exam: Chest A chest X-ray is a safe and painless test that uses a small amount of radiation to take a picture of a person's chest, including the heart, lungs, diaphragm, lymph nodes, upper spine, ribs, collarbone, and breastbone.
Pneumonia Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be caused by different types of germs, most commonly viruses. Read about the characteristics of various types of pneumonia.
Walking Pneumonia Many kids with this milder version of pneumonia feel well enough to go to school. But it's important to keep kids home until after treatment kicks in and symptoms improve.




Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2012 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.



 

Upcoming Events

The 1st Annual Logan X. Hess Stop Child Abuse Poker Run and Car Show will take place August 3. The ride begins at the Piqua American Legion and ends at Edison Community College. The car show will be at Edison Community College.

Car Seat Safety Check at Russell's Point Municipal Building

Play golf at the world-class NCR Country Club golf course to benefit Dayton Children’s Pediatric Cancer Care Center. Enjoy the Hoopla festivities featuring dinner and an outstanding silent auction and a guest presentations from our brave Dayton Children's ambassador fighting cancer.

Car Seat Safety Check

View full event calendarView full event calendar

Health and Safety

Your child's health and safety is our top priority

Accreditations

The Children's Medical Center of Dayton Dayton Children's
The Right Care for the Right Reasons

One Children's Plaza - Dayton, Ohio - 45404-1815
937-641-3000
www.childrensdayton.org