In the winter, viral pneumonias are frequent and can cause wheezing and asthma-like symptoms that can last for a few weeks but often aren't severe. Bacterial pneumonia is less common but typically causes kids to be much sicker, with high fever, lethargy, and cough.
Treatment Rest often works best, but if children have significant wheezing or difficulty breathing, medicine may be prescribed to open up the airways. For bacterial pneumonia, a 10-day course of antibiotics should do the trick.
Contagious factor Both kinds of pneumonia are spread by coughing and sneezing. With the viral type, children are contagious for as long as they have symptoms. But as with colds, they're most contagious during the peak of the illness, between days three and five. With bacterial pneumonia, contagiousness lasts from the first respiratory symptom until 48 hours after starting antibiotics.