Pneumonia - MASTA Travel Health | For All Your Vaccination advice


Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection affecting the lungs caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi. Each year in the UK, 8 in every 1000 adults develop pneumonia (around 220,000 people per year) and approximately 29,000 people die.
  • Symptoms Common symptoms are a persistent cough, fever, breathlessness, feeling generally unwell, no appetite, sweating/shivering and chest pains which worsen when breathing or coughing.
  • How do you catch Pneumonia? Pneumonia is most commonly transmitted by air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze, but can also be spread through person to person contact.
  • Incubation period This depends on the cause, but tends to be 1-7 days approx.
  • Diagnosis The condition is diagnosed based on clinical symptoms, listening to the chest, X-Rays, and blood tests.


Good standards of hygiene can reduce the chance of spreading the disease. These include covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, preferably with a tissue which can then be disposed of, and regular hand-washing. Two licensed pneumococcal vaccines are currently available.


Pneumonia is treated with antibiotics, rest, and an increased fluid intake. Hospitalisation is normally required for more serious cases.

Vaccination options

A vaccine is available.

Protection duration: Healthy adults are unlikely to need a booster

How is it given: 1 injection (adults)

£70.00 Pricing shown is per dose

  • The only European countries with a higher death rate from pneumonia than the UK are Slovakia and Romania.
  • Although anyone can catch pneumonia, those at particular risk include the very young, the elderly, people who smoke, those with chronic health conditions and those whose immune systems have been weakened by illness or treatment.
  • More serious complications of pneumonia include pleurisy (where the lining between the lungs and ribcage become inflamed) and, rarely, lung abscesses or septicaemia (blood poisoning).
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