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My father was diagnosed with atypical pneumonia. What does this mean?

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Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care

In brief: Outdated term

"atypical pneumonia" is actually very common, but differs from the "textbook" description of acute onset symptoms with a very predictable x-ray appearance.
The designation is not useful. It tells us little about the causative bug(s), and treatment is not determined by the x-ray or acuity of symptoms. Currently, a more useful term used to guide treatment decisions is community acquired pneumonia.

In brief: Outdated term

"atypical pneumonia" is actually very common, but differs from the "textbook" description of acute onset symptoms with a very predictable x-ray appearance.
The designation is not useful. It tells us little about the causative bug(s), and treatment is not determined by the x-ray or acuity of symptoms. Currently, a more useful term used to guide treatment decisions is community acquired pneumonia.
Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Thank
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