Whoopi Goldberg's Health Scare Shines Light on Pneumonia

Whoopi Goldberg's near-death experience with pneumonia is a reminder to know the symptoms of the serious illness and how to treat it.

After Whoopi Goldberg said on "The View" Friday that she had been absent from the show for a month because she had come "very close" to dying from pneumonia, her revelation is a reminder to know the symptoms of the serious illness and how to treat it.

Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs, sometimes causing them to fill with fluid or phlegm.

Common symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain with breathing or coughing, confusion, cough with phlegm, fatigue, fever with sweating or shaking, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The group says people should see a doctor when they experience difficulty breathing, chest pain, a persistent fever of 102 degrees or a persistent cough.

It is especially important for certain groups of people to seek medical attention. Adults older than age 65 and children younger than age 2 are at highest risk.

Complications from contracting pneumonia include bacteria in the bloodstream, chronic cough and fluid build up around the lungs.

People can help prevent pneumonia by getting vaccinated, practicing good hygiene, eating healthy, avoiding smoking and getting exercise.

“Yes, I came very close to leaving the earth,” Goldberg said on "The View" Friday. “Good news, I didn’t. Thank you for all of your good wishes, all of the wonderful things that people have been saying. Even people who aren’t huge fans of mine have actually been saying nice thing about me.”