Is Bronchitis Contagious?

January 7, 2022

The illness that falls between the common cold and severe pneumonia is referred to as bronchitis. It happens when the bronchioles (air-carrying tubes in the lungs) make too much mucus due to inflammation.

AFC Urgent Care Short Hills provides diagnosis and treatment for patients suffering from bronchitis symptoms. All patients will experience high-quality care while tended to by our providers. Visit our center today for care!

Types Of Bronchitis:

Acute Bronchitis

This is more frequent and is usually caused by viral infection. Although it may also be caused by bacterial infection, the flu and colds are instances of viral infections. Common acute bronchitis can be associated with and made worse by smoking. Short-term bronchitis lasts for 10-14 days, perhaps causing symptoms for three weeks.

Chronic Bronchitis

This is referred to as cough-producing sputum that lasts for three months in a year for at least two successive years. The inflammation and cough may result from initial respiratory infection or disease, exposure to tobacco smoke, or other provoking substances in the air such as air pollution, toxic gasses, secondhand cigarette smoke, or dust. Chronic bronchitis is grouped under the phrase chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because it causes airflow obstruction.

Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis:

These include;

  • Frequent cough that produces mucus
  • Wheezing sound when breathing (may or may not be present)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever (maybe or may not be present)
  • Lack of energy

Causes and Contagiousness of Bronchitis:

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viral or bacterial infection, making it contagious. Unlike chronic bronchitis, which is not likely to be contagious because it is an illness caused usually by long-term irritation of the airways.

Since bronchitis is caused by bacteria or viral infection, it spreads the same way as colds – through germs transmitting through the air when someone sneezes or coughs. If you are close enough to the infected person, you can breathe in the germs. Also, you could touch an object that has germs on it, such as a door, and then move the germs by touching your mouth, eyes, or nose. The more reason good hand washing practices are essential for adults and children.

Usually, you stop being contagious 24 hours after you’ve started taking antibiotics medication for bronchitis. But if you have a viral form of bronchitis, antibiotics won’t work for you. You will still be contagious, at least for a few days, and can probably last for as long as a week.

Treatment for Bronchitis:

Treatment solely depends on the type of bronchitis you have. You might not need any treatment if you have acute bronchitis, or you might settle for over-the-counter drugs that subdue mucus or treat pain or fever. Your doctor might prescribe antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection.

Treatment will be different if you’re dealing with chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis, also known as COPD, is not curable. But, the symptoms can be treated using different methods such as oxygen therapy, surgery, drugs, pulmonary rehabilitation, or a combination of these. Also, your doctor might prescribe an airway clearance device, also known as a mucus clearing device, to assist you in bringing the mucus up easily.  

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