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How to Determine If Bronchitis Is Contagious

Story at-a-glance

  • Determining if bronchitis is contagious or not depends on what actually causes the disease
  • If frequent exposure to pollutants, cigarette or tobacco smoke or other environmental factors are to blame for bronchitis, the disease is not contagious

Undergoing a checkup as soon as the first symptoms of bronchitis appear is vital not only to in determine the type of bronchitis and what course of treatment is appropriate, but to also know whether a case of bronchitis can be contagious or not.

These are the major causes of both acute and chronic bronchitis, the two known types of this disease:1,2,3

These Agents Make Bronchitis Contagious

Determining if bronchitis is contagious or not depends on what actually causes the disease. Sadly, if a case of bronchitis is a result of either a viral or bacterial infection, either repeated4 or not, it is contagious.5,6

Viruses or bacteria that trigger infections, and consequently bronchitis, can spread from one person to another via droplets that are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Touching an infected surface and then touching the mouth, eyes or nose afterward paves the way for the transfer of the virus or bacteria.7

Bronchitis Isn't Contagious — Provided It's Caused by These

On the other hand, if frequent exposure to pollutants, cigarette or tobacco smoke or other environmental factors are to blame for catching bronchitis, the disease is not contagious.

These causes are often connected to the lifestyle of a patient, and not everyone may be exposed to these irritants. The same can be said if the diseases below have resulted in bronchitis:9,10,11,12

Remember that just because bronchitis may not always be contagious, this does not make the disease any less debilitating nor does it mean it should be treated lightly. It pays to take caution and follow preventive measures to avoid the disease from harming you or your loved ones.

And as mentioned in the beginning, if bronchitis symptoms manifest in you or someone you know, make sure to consult a physician quickly.

MORE ABOUT BRONCHITIS

Introduction: Bronchitis

What Is Bronchitis?

Is Bronchitis Contagious?

Types of Bronchitis

Bronchitis Causes

Bronchitis Symptoms

Bronchitis Treatment

Bronchitis in Children

Bronchitis During Pregnancy

Bronchitis Prevention

Bronchitis Diet

Bronchitis FAQ

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What Is Bronchitis?

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Types of Bronchitis

Sources and References

  • 1 McIntosh and Webberley, “Bronchitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments,” Medical News Today, January 9, 2016
  • 2, 4 Madell and Sullivan, “Understanding Chronic Bronchitis,” Healthline, January 29, 2016
  • 3 Davis, Schiffman and Stöppler, “Chronic Bronchitis,” MedicineNet, February 24, 2016
  • 5, 7 Steckelberg, “Is Acute Bronchitis Contagious?” Mayo Clinic, May 11, 2016
  • 6, 8 Davis and Balentine, “Bronchitis (Acute),” MedicineNet, January 1, 2015
  • 9 “Who Gets Asthma?” Asthma Society of Canada
  • 10 “What Cystic Fibrosis is NOT,” The University of New Mexico
  • 11 “Heart Failure,” MedlinePlus
  • 12 Mayo Clinic Staff, “Primary Immunodeficiency Causes,” Mayo Clinic, January 20, 2015
  • 13 “Coronary Heart Disease — Causes,” NHS Choices, September 26, 2014
  • 14 Nordqvist, “High Blood Pressure: Causes and Diagnosis,” Medical News Today
  • 15 “Immunodeficiency Disorders,” Healthline, August 30, 2016
  • 16 Cox, “HIV AIDS Facts: Symptoms and Treatments,” MedicineNet, July 27, 2016
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