In the young, healthy patients, early treatment with antibiotics (usually taken orally) can cure and speed recovery from pneumonia. There is no effective treatment for viral pneumonia. In certain cases, viral pneumonias may become secondarily infected with bacteria and such cases require antibiotics as well. The type of antibiotics used to fight the pneumonia are determined by the most likely germ causing the pneumonia as well as the doctor's judgment.
In more severe cases, hospitalization and antibiotics given directly to the blood stream is required. In addition other supportive treatment like oxygen therapy may be needed. Patients with severe pneumonia may require admission to the intensive care unit because of its life threatening. With prompt treatment, most types of non-severe bacterial pneumonia can be cured within 1-2 weeks, but viral and certain other types of pneumonia may last longer.
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