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Date of preparation: March 2018

How are the infectious agents which can cause pneumonia transmitted from person-to-person? 

Micro-organisms such as viruses and bacteria that are commonly identified in a child's nasopharynx or upper respiratory tract can infect the lungs via autoinoculation if they are inhaled. They can be transmitted from person-to-person via airborne droplets from a cough or sneeze. 1

In addition, these pathogens may be transmitted through the blood, especially during and shortly after birth. Further research needs to be conducted on the different pathogens causing pneumonia and the ways they are transmitted, as this is of critical importance for treatment and prevention. 1


  1. WHO. Pneumonia fact sheet, No 331 November 2014. Available at:  [Last accessed June 2014].