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Is Bronchitis Contagious?

Updated on July 23, 2010

Bronchitis is characterized by inflamed airways and show up 2 forms, chronic and acute. A widespread question, and a tough one to resolve, arises with this condition of "Is bronchitis contagious?". One rationale for why this question is asked is because bronchitis is often confused with other conditions that are contagious. A side effect of a terrible cold or influenza is really a better definition for bronchitis. Contagious, hence, doesn't accurately portray this illness where a contagious virus brings about the side effects of a dry hacking cough and irritated throat.

Acute bronchitis is more common place and not as serious. This form usually forms from a severe cold or flu. While very inconvenient to the sufferer due to the regular coughing, your body’s immune system is easily able to combat this illness on its own although it can take a couple weeks for the coughing to entirely disappear.

Chronic Bronchitis and the Signature Cough

Chronic bronchitis indicates that your airways are inflamed for a long while, maybe even for a lifetime. Those who smoke are at a higher threat for this variety of bronchitis. It is also one of a few diseases that are under the general term COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Often a doctor can diagnose the condition minus expensive exams. The best known symptom of bronchitis is a rattling sound in the upper lungs that a medical doctor can identify with a stethoscope. If chronic bronchitis is most likely present, the physician could require a lungs X-ray to check the effects so that a 100% specific diagnosis of chronic bronchitis can be made.

Treating and Preventing Bronchitis

Although you cannot directly contract bronchitis, contagious prevention actions should be carried out so that the virus you do have that caused the infection is not exchanged. Receiving enough sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, consuming vitamin loaded foods and avoiding junk foods are all excellent strategies for a quick recovery. To block catching viruses in the first place, wash your hands thoroughly after touching anything that could carry germs. Most viruses go into the body when people, with germs on their hands, touch their face. By keeping your hands clean and taking care not to unconsciously touch your face during the day, you can greatly minimize your probability of getting sick.

Methods that will not treat bronchitis are cough suppressants. The reason you are coughing is because the body is trying to dislodge the mucus that has accumulated in your airways. Antibiotics are made to combat bacterial infections and these are only prescribed if your mucus changes in color and texture which signifies your airways are becoming infected. Drugs similar to those given to people with asthma are commonly prescribed for those with chronic bronchitis.

Some Final Pointers

So though the answer to the inquiry, “Is bronchitis contagious?” is “no”, you do need to be concerned about the viruses that lead to bronchitis. Being conscious of your surroundings so that you don’t mistakenly infect yourself is the ideal method for prevention. But if you do end up with a case of bronchitis get sufficient sleep and have nourishing food to give your body the ideal conditions for a rapid recovery.  

You can find out even more about if bronchitis is contagious and other respiratory issues.


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