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Lung diseases

Pneumonia recovery



I am a generally healthy 40 year old male who two weeks ago came down with pneumonia. On the previous Saturday and Sunday I knew that I was coming down with an infection of some kind since I had fever and chills, general joint pain and extreme exhaustion. I went to my family Dr. and had x-rays taken which showed a "consolidation on my lower left lung." It should be noted that I have never smoked and I do a lot of long distance running, including marathons. I took five days of Zithromax to clear my lungs. Over the last week I have fine other than the fact that I feel more tired than usual later in the day. I have also resumed running 5.5 km or about 3miles per day but I find that I have trouble completing this distance when I was used to 3X that before. How long will it be before I feel back to normal with complete aerobic capacity?


The recovery time for a community acquired pneumonia generally depends upon the cause of the pneumonia and the severity of the infection.

In general, most people begin to feel better within 7 to 10 days; complete resolution can take 4-8 weeks.  Given the level of your exercise regimen, you should gradually build yourself back up to your previous level of exercise over 4-6 weeks.

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Response by:

Ralph   Panos, MD Ralph Panos, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati