Is Bronchitis Contagious & How Can You Prevent It?
What Is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a pathological condition of the lungs in which there is inflammation of the bronchial tubes which carry air to and from the lungs. Bronchitis causes severe cough in affected individuals along with production of thick mucous. There are basically two types of bronchitis, acute and chronic. Acute Bronchitis can be caused by viruses which cause flu and cold, while chronic bronchitis is mainly caused by cigarette smoking, although air pollution and inhalation of toxic gases in a polluted environment or in the workplace may also be a cause for bronchitis.
The common symptoms of Bronchitis are cough, production of yellowish-gray sputum, fatigue, shortness of breath, and in some cases fever and chills. Chest discomfort is yet another symptom of bronchitis.
Is Bronchitis Contagious?
The answer to this question is yes but it depends on which type of bronchitis the individual is suffering from. As stated, there are two types of bronchitis, acute and chronic. While chronic bronchitis is not contagious and does not spread from individual to individual but the acute form of bronchitis is contagious and may transmit from one individual to another.
Individuals with chronic bronchitis have chronic productive cough but even if you are in close contact with such individuals they are not likely to get infected. Acute bronchitis, which is caused by inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes usually as a result of exposure to viruses, is the form of bronchitis which is contagious and can be transmitted through cough, mucous, and touching the affected individual.
Acute form of bronchitis typically lasts for about a week to two weeks but the symptoms may continue for as long as a month after resolution of the infection. There are many viruses that can cause Acute Bronchitis but it is mainly caused by viruses that cause the flu and cold which makes it contagious.
How To Prevent Bronchitis?
In case if you have an individual at home who is affected with Acute Bronchitis then it is better to follow certain steps to avoid contracting this disease.
- Avoid any form of close contact with the affected individual
- Avoid sharing towels, utensils, razors, or clothes used by the affected individual to prevent the spread of bronchitis.
- It would be best to use gloves while cleaning the room of the affected individual and cleaning stuff like used tissues by the patient as the virus may spread through mucous as well
- Getting a flu shot as soon as the flu season begins can help prevent bronchitis
- It is important to wash the hand before and after eating with soap and water.
- Try and avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with dirty hands in order to prevent getting Bronchitis infection.
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