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Patient advice - explanation of time scale to recovery after treatment of community acquired pneumonia (CAP)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Patient information

  • explain to patients with community-acquired pneumonia that after starting treatment their symptoms should steadily improve, although the rate of improvement will vary with the severity of the pneumonia, and most people can expect that by:

    • 1 week: fever should have resolved

    • 4 weeks: chest pain and sputum production should have substantially reduced

    • 6 weeks: cough and breathlessness should have substantially reduced

    • 3 months: most symptoms should have resolved but fatigue may still be present

    • 6 months: most people will feel back to normal


  1. NICE (December 2014).Pneumonia- Diagnosis and management of community- and hospital-acquired pneumonia in adults

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