Bacterial Pneumonia Symptoms

Bacterial pneumonia is an infection caused by the presence of bacteria within the lungs. The most common cause of this type of infection is a bacterium called streptococcus pneumoniae, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Anyone who develops bacterial pneumonia symptoms should consult a doctor as soon as possible for further evaluation and care.

A young man sick in bed. Credit: Mark Bowden/iStock/Getty Images

Shaking Chills and Fever

Patients with bacterial pneumonia can develop shaking chills followed by a high fever. These bacterial pneumonia symptoms typically arise suddenly and may be accompanied by sweating or headache. Fever symptoms due to this bacterial lung infection may be as high as 105 degrees F, Cleveland Clinic health professionals warn. Patients who develop a high, persistent fever should seek medical care immediately.


Bacteria within the lungs can irritate and inflame the sensitive tissues of a patient's airway. When this occurs, patients with this infection can develop a dry, chronic cough. Depending upon the severity of this infection, affected patients may progressively develop a congested cough that yields mucus or phlegm. Patients who begin to cough up mucus that contains blood require immediate medical attention, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Difficulty Breathing

Lung inflammation caused by bacterial pneumonia can constrict a patient's airway, leading to breathing difficulties. Affected patients may experience symptoms that include shortness of breath or unusually rapid breathing, reports PDRHealth, a medical information website associated with the "Physicians' Desktop Reference." Certain patients may also begin to wheeze, which can result in a crackling sound within the lungs. These breathing difficulties can be accompanied by chest pain or discomfort in affected patients. Breathing difficulties require prompt medical attention and affected patients should consult a physician for further care.

Stomach Upset

Patients with bacterial pneumonia can develop stomach upset symptoms due to this infection. Affected patients can experience nausea or may begin to vomit, reports UMMC. These stomach upset symptoms can be accompanied by abdominal pain or discomfort and may contribute to a decreased appetite. Patients who experience unintended weight loss in conjunction with high fever, cough, breathing difficulties or stomach upset should seek further care from a medical professional.


A bacterial lung infection can cause symptoms of exhaustion in affected patients, warns KidsHealth, a children's health information website supported by the Nemours Foundation. Excessive fatigue can make it difficult for affected patients to participate in their usual activities, such as work or school. Symptoms of fatigue due to bacterial pneumonia can also be accompanied by body pain or muscle aches. If fatigue symptoms persist, affected patients should consult a physician.

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