Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization and death among adults in the United States. When people think of pneumonia they often associate it with bacteria, but it turns out that viruses are more often to blame. Unfortunately, neither viruses nor bacteria are being detected in the majority of hospital patients according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was conducted over a two-and-a-half year period and involved data from 2,488 patients from three different American hospitals. An overwhelming 93 percent had confirmed cases of pneumonia. The investigation used chest radiographs and detailed diagnostic methods to determine the cause for the hospitalizations among adults from January 2010 through June 2012. Study participants provided specimens that were tested for both viral and bacterial pathogens.


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