Suspect if pleuritic chest pain and fever, especially if there’s a cough. Focal rales heighten suspicion. With consolidation, there’s focal dullness to percussion & egophony (patient says “E-E-E-E” while you auscultate, it sounds like “A-A-A-A”).
A chest x-ray is virtually 100% sensitive (rare false-negatives in the initial 24 hours).
Mortality rate among out-patients may be under 0.5%. For those with community-acquired pneumonia sick enough to require an ICU, up to 36% may die.