CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour X-ray showing a left lung (right of image) with pneumonia. This enhanced image colours the lungs purple inside the ribcage; with the heart (at centre) coloured red. The infection in the pneumonic lung is seen as a white shadow. Most cases of pneumonia are caused by viruses or bacteria, and rarely by other types of organisms in people suffering from an immunodeficiency disorder. The diagnosis of pneumonia includes listening to the chest with a stethoscope and is confirmed by a chest X-ray. Patients with mild pneumonia may be treated at home but hospitalisation is necessary in severe cases.
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