What is community-acquired pneumonia (CAP)?

Updated: Jul 22, 2021
  • Author: Folusakin O Ayoade, MD; Chief Editor: Thomas E Herchline, MD  more...
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Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is one the most common infectious diseases addressed by clinicians. It is a major health problem in the United States and is an important cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. It is the second most common reason for admission to the hospital and the most common infectious cause of death. It accounts for over 4.5 million outpatient and emergency room visits annually. [1, 2]

CAP is defined as pneumonia acquired outside a hospital or long-term care facility. It may be diagnosed within 48 hours of hospital admission. The designation "healthcare-associated pneumonia"  (HCAP) is no longer included in the pneumonia guidelines. [1, 2, 3]



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