Doctors diagnose pneumonia mainly by talking to the person who is unwell and examining them.
Tests for pneumonia include blood samples, a swab from inside the nose or throat, urine or sputum (phlegm) to try to identify the cause of the pneumonia. A chest x-ray is usually also taken. If you are in hospital, doctors will also monitor to see if there is enough oxygen in your blood.
If you or someone in your care may be recovering well from a cold or flu but then it becomes worse, it may be pneumonia. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible as pneumonia is life threatening to babies, children and the elderly. If the affected person has trouble breathing, they should go to the nearest Emergency Department.
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Last reviewed: September 2018