Is Bronchitis Contagious

Bronchitis, a Breathing Disease

Bronchitis is the swelling in the passage of the windpipe, which in turn connect to the lungs.  Bronchitis starts with the irritation in the bronchial tubes.  Then, there is a formation of mucus. The mucus deposit blocks the air passage. This creates problem in breathing.

Type of Bronchitis

There are two types of Bronchitis:

1. Acute Bronchitis
2. Chronic Bronchitis

Acute Bronchitis occurs due to severe cold and stays for a shorter period of time. But Chronic Bronchitis usually is the pain in the chest. This is accompanied by cough and fever.  There is a difficulty in breathing too in case of chronic bronchitis.

Effects of Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic Bronchitis lasts for a long time and mucus is released during cough.  The patients find it difficult to breathe for a longer time.  The level of difficulty may vary from person to person.  They may fall sick due to lung infections too.  The other names of this disease are ‘chronic obstructive lung disease’ and ‘chronic obstructive air passage disease’.  The difficulty lies in respiration in the body of the patient.  Let us analyze, is Bronchitis contagious or not?

Is Bronchitis contagious?

It is extremely true.  It is contagious disease.  The virus can transfer the disease when you sneeze or cough.  In the initial stage, there is a swelling in the air passage. At this time, there is no formation of virus.  When the bacteria released by the patients through sneeze and cough spreads through the air, the disease gets spread to others around.  The infected person should consult a physician immediately and get medicines. Otherwise it leads to pneumonia too.  Both the types of Bronchitis are contagious.  The viral infection is powerful and it may affect the healthy people around through indirect and direct contacts.

How to Prevent Bronchitis?

By following healthy and hygienic daily routine, we can prevent the disease from spreading.  Cleanliness is very important.  As virus lies everywhere, wash your hands before meals and after using the toilets.  Do not spread the infection in the air by sneezing and coughing.  Use a hand towel, if you are having such a problem.  Asthmatic patients develop acute Bronchitis.  Taking antibiotics is the best solution to get relief from acute Bronchitis.  Only such medicines can work well with viral infections.  Take the advice of doctor for the consumption of medicines and follow the dosage and duration strictly.  Other than taking medicines, take lot of fluids and bed rest is important for the patients.  Antibiotics are is helpful in preventing further infections.  Asthma patients can consult a doctor and get themselves medicated in such scenarios.  They can take the medicines regularly and use the inhaler for fast relief.  This will widen the passage of respiratory organs and affected person can feel more comfortable.

Get to know the reality on IsBronchitisContagious and prevent yourself from falling into the rap of broncitis with ease. Read more about seasonal allergy symptoms with our Health Partners

FAQ. Bronchitis Info

How to treat bronchitis?

  • Adhere to the following tips and this would help you lots in treating bronchitis
  • Minimize your exposure to irritants. Quit smoking
  • A vaporizer can ease your breathing difficulty
  • Let your mouth and nose not be exposed to cool air around
  • Hot bath can relax you lots before sleeping
  • Take proper medication on time and avoid taking too much of cough syrup
  • Increase fluid intake and stop taking diary products sugar rich food and processed food items to alleviate the allergic reaction

Who discovered bronchitis?

The first case of broncitis was discovered in 1808. The term bronchitis was coined by Charles Badham in the year 1808. However, Greeks have been suing the term ‘excess phlegm’ to refer to this lung problem earlier.

How to prevent bronchitis?

Wash your hands and legs as often as you can especially when you roam around and come back home. Minimize your exposure to pollutants. Use a mask to cover your mouth and nose. Ensure that your immunity is high and get your vaccinations on time

How long does bronchitis last?

Bronchitis symptoms are generally visible for 1-2 weeks timeframe. However, the cough and sneezing can continue for a few weeks too. It is very contagious during the first one week.

What is chronic bronchitis?

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the lungs. This often causes constriction to the air passage in and out of the lungs. The cilia that is present adjoining the air passage secrete mucus and obstruct the passage of air thereby leading to suffocation. When this continues to be present for around a few months timeframe, then it is termed as chronic bronchitis. Smoking has been proven to be the main cause of chronic bronchitus.

What causes bronchitis

Bronchitis is caused by bacteria and viruses. Rhino virus, influenza and adenoviridae are a few that can cause bronchitis. However, chronic bronchitis is often caused due to the habit of smoking. Occupational exposure to pollutants has also been determined to be the cause of brochitis.

How do you get bronchitis?

Bronchitis is caused usually by bacterial or viral infections. However, it is contagious and can also be caused just by being in touch with the infected person. Second hand smoke can even result in accumulation of irritants in the air passage which in turn can result in broncitis

204 responses to “Is Bronchitis Contagious”

  1. Coughing is definitely a sign of nicotine withdrawal, however nicotine withdrawal symptoms typically only last a few days and are minor. Nicotine doesn’t have any long lasting withdrawal symptoms. So please don’t listen to this ass-tard of a person chrystal. If you stopped smoking over 2 weeks ago, then you need to see a doctor. It quite well could be bronchitis.

  2. i have been smoking for quite some time and cough up brown mucus usually but this morning my throat was inflamed and swollen very bad, i got a fever, and instead of brown mucus it is now yellow. i have body aches and tiredness. i normally have a slight cough but its gotten worse in the past 2 days. is this bronchitis or something else?

  3. I went to the doctor today and I was given an antibiotic to help with my chronic bronchitis.

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  6. I just had Bronchitis for about 9 weeks and I’m not a smoker and it was my first time having it. It is obviously contagious considering I gave it to my room mate along with a couple friends, although theirs weren’t as severe as mine. So if it weren’t contagious, kind of ironic that everyone around me has it now too, isn’t it? Antibiotics did NOT work for me obviously, my doctor gave them to me in hopes of preventing anything else from entering my weakened body.

  7. my gf has bronchitis, i didn’t realise it was contagious!! Thanks for the post

  8. Was just at the Dr. today, have Asthmatic Bronchitis, no fever, clear phlegm. Was told by this Dr. (not my regular) that asthmatic bronchitis is caused in people with asthma by irritants, not contagious. This is what I have been told by my family doctor and specialist as well. While I definitely recommend getting the Dr.’s opinion and not self diagnosing, I was told that my symptoms, horrible cough (to the point of vomiting), clear congestion, no fever, and no other symptoms (not achy, felt fine other than the sore lungs, no sore throat etc) other than severe seasonal allergies and asthma are the indicators. I was also swabbed for strep b/c my nephew has it. I specifically asked the Dr. if it was safe to work (I teach 1st grade) and be around my bff’s daughter who is under a month and was told it was. I get this several times a year and once I get steroids and start nebulizer treatments it is gone in a day or two, don’t agree that I should miss a week of work each time, and neither does my doctor.

  9. I Agree people need to watch what they are doing and if they do not know why they are sick go to the doc. im sitting here typing from my hosp. bed with bronchitis that caused phanomia, my 3 year old daughter got it just from a hug, my husband got it from simply sleeping next to me.

  10. I have cronic asthmatic bronchitis. Caused by asthma, smoking, and weak respiratory tract. I can get this from allergins, and smoking. I have yetto have a doctor tell me I am contageous or that a virus or bacteria are involved. Therefore asthmatic bronchitis is only contageous if a virus or bacteria are involved. Also, some doctors put you on antibiotics as a preventative measure. However, antibiotics do not work for viral infections. Some may disagree with this post but anytime you are sick, and even when you are not, ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS and do not go around people with a weakened immune system!

  11. Dude,
    I have bronchitis now and am not coughing up blood. GO TO THE DOCTOR ASAP. Don’t panic but do it.

  12. I went to the doc for pink eye, and lo and behold found out I also have Viral Bronchitis. Had no clue. I have been tired but chalked that up to stress from work. I have had minor chest pains but chalked that up to Costocondritis, which I tend to get once a year. I am not one of the fortunate ones that are allowed to stay at home when Im sick. In fact when my work found out I had pink eye this past week, they still wanted me to come in!!! Telling them I have viral bronchitis is not going to prevent me from being told I have to work. I agree, that when you are contagious, the best bet is to stay home!!! Running a fever and/or having discolored mucus is a sure sign your infectious. And no matter how often you wash your hands, sneeze in your sleeve or cough down your shirt, something is going to go somewhere and infect a co-worker. The fact the powers that be are only concerned about their business ARE the real culprits..

  13. I was given augmenten (antibiotic) for acute sinusitis 8 days ago. The fever went down and I’m coughing a bit less, but I’m wiped out and developed squeeky sounds in my upper chest. Mucus color changed from green to opaque white. Today the doctor said it had gone into athsmatic bronchitis, and gave me a shot of cortisone. Now my heart is pounding and my chest kind of hurts. Has anyone else had this experience? I had pneumonia with staph infection last October, so am worried if the doctor did enough test to avoid it coming back.

  14. Taking cough medicines while you have bronchitis only masks the symptoms and does not help breakup the phlegm necessary to expel out of your bronchials. Because you are asthmatic, it is important to keep your airways clear. You can also become immune to cough meds. When asthmatics have bronchitis whether its acute or viral you are at higher risk for pnemonia. Asthmatics also react differently to cough meds than non asthmatics. Usually in cases of severe bronchitis guaifissen (sp) is recommended as it helps break up the phlegm for easier coughing and expelling. Also, keep in mind because you are asthmatic, using a chest cold rub like vicks vapor rub can cause you to develop pnemonia. Its important to see your doc because you are at risk for complications. No Im not a doctor, my mother had severe asthma and so does my daughter…

  15. Hello, my name is Lachlan. Now I’m 11, turning 12 in September, but I don’t smoke. My sister does, and has caught Bronchitis and now I know that I have caught it too. Is there any treatments that are for infected people, not the spawner? If so please answer my question, with a reply. Thanks!

  16. I have chronic bronchitis and I guess it is contagious because 2 of my close friends that are around me alot have just been diagnosed with it as well.

  17. yes washing of the legs indeed ¡ lol i think u also av to wash ur head or chest… whatever,,,,,

  18. A month ago, my husband and I vacationed in Colorado — three nights in a motel with our daughter’s family, then camping at 8000 ft. For the last three weeks she and her husband, my husband and I all have productive coughs, never had fever, but are fighting constant fatigue. Three of her children also have begun coughing. Yellow-green phlegm, bubbly coughing for my husband. My cough is finally less frequent, but still a problem.My husband never gets respiratory stuff – but he can’t shake this one, and he’s not as affected by the fatigue — but it’s clear we all started these symptoms together.

    I had Legionnaire’s disease about 13 years ago, so I worry about any respiratory infections — this last 4 weeks has left my chest very tight and I feel short of breath and get very tired. My daughter’s doctor told her today she’s checking her for pertussis (even tho she was vaccinated when young). MY doctor today said he thinks it’s asthmatic bronchitis. An x-ray of the chest seemed OK, but he’s started me on antibiotics, an Alburterol inhaler and cough meds.
    Can there be two such divergent diagnoses for the same symptoms? Is one of them completely off?

  19. I’ve had it for over a month, twice to the doc. Changed anti. and predison, felt ok for a couple of days, Sat. woke up and all stopped up again, still on antibio. Had my grandson over last Thurs. he seems to be ok, at least I hope he does not come down with it, my husband hasn’t caught it from me for over a month.

  20. why is that, that the acute bronchitis is contagious while chronic is not? Is asthmatic bronchitis a deadly disease? I’m just worried because my boyfriend was just discovered to have asthmatic bronchitis. 🙁

  21. Let’s clarify something here. Bronchitis is a CONDITION, not a disease/infection. It itself is not contageous. The virus that caused the condition will likely be contageous of course, but bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi, brought on by other factors. It would be like saying that headaches are contageous. You can’t catch a headache. However you can catch a virus that causes headaches. Viral infections that cause symptoms are the things that are contageous, not the symptoms themselves.

  22. It is possible to have traces of blood in your phlem with bronchitis although it is not all that common. If you are coughing up blood at all it could be an indication of a more severe problem and you should consult your physician as soon as possible.

  23. it is contagiouis but with the right antibiotics everything will be ok and you won’t be contagiois anymore

  24. find out of you have allergies too. i do and i was getting bronchitis every year like clockwork in late feb and found out it was pollen that was getting into my lungs.. and man, it made me sick for weeks. i take allergy medication now every day and sometimes that doesn’t even help. i never knew it was contagious and 2 people at my job have had it and now me. yuk!!! it almost seems like the flu, it’s changing and becoming more powerful. to me there is nothing worse, it lays me out. it seems when you work around a lot of people that you’ll end up getting something.. wash wash wash and sanitize all the time. and deal with your stress in a healthy manner. i know i got sick after i was really stressed out too. and i eat right and take all of my supplements. too many people.. lots of nasty stuff out there. i feel for everyone that deals with this bad stuff.

  25. I can get this from allergins, and smoking. I have yetto have a doctor tell me I am contageous or that a virus or bacteria are involved. Therefore asthmatic bronchitis is only contageous if a virus or bacteria are involved.thanks..

  26. hooray! I agree! I also understand that people that have a job outside the home have problems with “management” so the next time you have to call in sick and management insist you to go anyway, just make sure you cough on them as much as you can! Once they contract Bronchitis a couple of times, maybe they will change thier policy. This may seem “mean or extreme”, but, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and am on medication that supresses my immune system and makes me very susceptible to infections. Please people, stay home if you have been diagnosed with colds or bronchitis! This also means folks that like to visit. My daughter-in-law constantly brings her children to my home when she knows they are sick even though she knows my condition. Practically every time, I come down with a cold, which my system can’t handle, and then it turns into Bronchitis. The time before last it developed into Bronchitis and then Pneumonia! Now I have Bronchitis again, brought on by a visit last week when one had strep throat (with fever)and one had a terrible cough (undiagnosed). I’m glad I am not the only one who thinks this is rude and discourteous as well as dangereous. When I am sick, I do not carry it out into the community and when I have to go to the Doctor, I don a mask while in the waiting room. Please people, have some respect for others, some people are not as healthy as others and you really put thier health at risk!

  27. What a load of ****. Bronchitis is not contagious. Speak to a formally trained doctor. You are peddlers in rumour and misinformation. This site has been identified as such. Fred.

  28. So, I quite smoking and now I get bronchitis at least 1 or 2 times every year.
    I was better off when I was puffing a few cigs everyday.
    I’ve had it for 4 weeks now, and it’s not letting up at all, phlem is dark yellowish green every morning, and chest rummbles when I cough.
    Wondering, how does flu vaccine help, is there something in the vaccine for Bronchitis.
    I’ve noticed 2 changes since I started getting this bacteria / virus.

    1. I stopped smoking about 1.5yrs ago
    2. Last few years with the swine flu scare, I didn’t take flu shots.

    Any correlation?

  29. One of my family members got acut bronchitis and has had a really bad cough it seems really bad the docter said if it is not better by a certain time she will have to take steriods, But she is on antibiotics. The thing i want to know is what can happen if it does not go away can anything bad happen or not…….?

  30. This article has some missing and mis-information. More importantly, it is quite at odds with information from other sources such as the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins bulletins. For example, most articles on the topic advise a g a i n s t immediately taking anti-biotics.


  32. I have emphazyma COPD, and Asthma. Consqently just like a clock I get a great bout with bronchitis. My doctor does the exact same thing for me. Always Prednisone (steroid) healer, starting 40mg a day for 7 days, than 20, than 10. I also get a cortisone shot and Laviquin as the anti biotice. It takes about six weeks to get rid of this nasty thing. You might ask if this is allergy related. I take shots every two weeks also to keep the allergies down. I am now 65 years old and smoked for 40 years. I am on Oxygen while I sleep as level drops at nite, and sometimes during the day when bronchitis acts up. Yes, you do feel that your heart is going harder, it probably is as you are having trouble breathing, and you are working harder. Now for me, the prednisone makes me shake and I gain weight. Hungary all the time.

  33. when it comes to going to the er alot of the dr’s do what they can to diagnose you. it’s better to go to your regular dr especially so they know what’s going on with you and can put it in your file that you had whatever it is.

  34. Antibiotics are only effective against b a c t e r i a l infections, NOT viral infections. Most often, viral infections precede bacterial infections and don’t respond to antibiotics. Viral bronchitis lasts about a week and is characterized by sinus drainage, overwhelming cough; clear, white, gray, or brown phlegm; extreme fatigue, a sore throat and headache If you go to any medical sites, you can easily


  35. I’ve had bronchitis attacks for 50 years, and have found that my allergies trigger it, especially mold.It starts with sinuses, and ends up going into my bronchial srea, and within a couple of days, it’s fullblown.I have 4 children, and over the years have never been know to give it to them, or anyone else.I’m allergic to mold,and pollen, etc., which starts it up, and sometimes it doesn’t cause anything but sinus blockage, however every year, or maybe two, I have full blown bronchitis with sinusitis.I try to tough it out with no drugs,and most times am successful.Four years ago, it turned to pneumonia.I am suffering with it right now(bronchitis). I did smoke, and quit 17 years ago, which probably did cause my bronchial tubes, and lungs, etc.some slight stress and maybe were compromised, but I deal with it by trying to stay healthy.I think a healthy immune system is the answer to a lot of stemming off disases.

  36. I have 4 children, and over the years have never been know to give it to them, or anyone else.I’m allergic to mold,and pollen, etc., which starts it up, and sometimes it doesn’t cause anything but sinus blockage, however every year, or maybe two, I have full blown bronchitis with sinusitis.I try to tough it out with no drugs,and most times am successful.Four years ago, it turned to pneumonia.I am suffering with it right now(bronchitis). I did smoke, and quit 17 years ago, which probably did cause my bronchial tubes, and lungs, etc.some slight stress and maybe were compromised, but I deal with it by trying to stay healthy.I think a healthy immune system is the answer to a lot of stemming off disases.

  37. Well, Garry, swelling of the bronchia is not contagious in the strictest sense.

    However, if the aveoli–the little sacs within the lung–become infected by one of any number of v i r u s e s then the person’s cough, sputum, sneezes, hankerchiefs, hands,etc. ARE contagious. Usually, the virus enters the lungs first, causes the initial infection and sets the stage for the next infections which are bacterial. Antibiotics are effective at this stage, but if not treated it can then evolve into a pneumonia or COPD.

    If you read some of the other posts, you can see this.

    Be more careful and thorough in your research.


  38. Viral bronchitis lasts about a week and is characterized by sinus drainage, overwhelming cough; clear, white, gray, or brown phlegm; extreme fatigue, a sore throat and headache If you go to any medical sites, you can easily

  39. When the bacteria released by the patients through sneeze and cough spreads through the air, the disease gets spread to others around.

  40. It’s not like when you have it you are sneezing or coughing in anyones face so I dont think it is a big deal.

  41. My brother had a chronic bronchitis when he was just 5 years old. He contracted it from my uncle who was a heavy smoker. He had been in the hospital for 4 days. We wore face masks just to be cautious and to avoid in getting the disease.

    Although it wasn’t that serious, my father banned all smoking inside the house. My uncle slowly stopped smoking and managed to have alternatives in smoking. No matter how small the disease we have we still need to consult a doctor. We really don’t know whether it would become life threatening in the future.

  42. Bronchitis is inflammation occur the lining passages of lungs which connected with the trachea..Bronchitis is contagious disease.Its occur several types such as asthama bronchitis,pneumonia bronchitis,etc..Sometimes it may take serious diseases and cause death.

  43. I am also one with allergies, I am allergic to dust, ragweed, alternaria mold, timothy, bermuda,and johnson grass. I work in an office which is just a box no matter how big it is, it’s still a box. A box contains lots of dust, the windows are closed most of the time, and many flavors of mold such as:Aspergillus,Cladosporium,Penicillium,Alternaria, and Stachybotrys atra (Black Mold). Inform your employer or housing authority about the problem first and then if nothing gets done.Collect a sample and send it to your state health department, do something for your health.

  44. 1. What is the best medicine (effective with little to no side effects)to use for bronchitis?
    2. How good is BronchoSolvin Syrup.
    3. Is nasal spray safe? or necessary? – Flixonase 50mcg

  45. I have battled bronchitis all my life, off and on, and have it now. It started with a sore throat, and lots of mucus, tiredness. This time I had to go to the ER because I just could not breathe. I have gone to church and worked and never given this to anyone, and my family was close to me at all times. I wonder will it always come back; this time it had been two years since I’ve had it. And I’ve been eating lots of sweets, since it’s the holidays, and does that have an effect on bronchitis?

  46. Dry leaf Oregano ,kills virus due to mould, mildew parasite and bacteria. make it into a tea. swish it around in your mouth, gargle and swallow slowly. If you are allergic to oregano, do not take it. and if you are pregnant or trying to become so then oregano is not for you as the only side effect is that if you take too much it will bring on your menses .
    Also Vitamin C. in the form of rose hips counter acts mould. i open a cap and empty the rose hip powder into a pot of boiling pasta while cooking it. it will kill any mould, also honey, you can empty a cap of rose hip powder and stir it into the honey to kill possible mould. Take a cap or two with water, it will kill mould in your body…

  47. “Is Bronchitis Contagious?

    Bronchitis describes a group of symptoms (including airway inflammation, over-production of phlegm, cough), which can have various causes. If the cause of the bronchitis is viral or bacterial, it can be contagious. If the cause of the bronchitis is due to smoking, air pollution, or other inhaled irritants, it is not contagious.”

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