Is bronchitis contagious? In a word: very. Bronchitis is an extremely contagious condition and the bacteria or virus that causes the condition is transmitted through mucus, either via sneezing or by touching an infected surface.
What Is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is the irritation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, irritation caused by an infection of a bacteria or virus. The condition affects the lungs and respiratory system. As the body struggles against the infection, mucus is produced in the lungs and coughing becomes frequent. While acute bronchitis has a quick recovery of around 7 to 14 days, more serious types of bronchitis, known as chronic, may take months to vanish; truly severe cases may develop into a chronic respiratory disease.
Good hygiene is the most important factor in preventing the spread of the virus that causes bronchitis. Wash your hands with soap and warm water to prevent the spread of germs through touching. Sneezing and coughing can also send germ-laden mucus droplets through the air, where they can further infect people. Those suffering from bronchitis should always cover their noses and mouths when sneezing, preferably not with the hands, but instead tissues or handkerchiefs. Using hand sanitizer is also a good way to prevent the spread of the germs. Wiping down common surfaces, such as doorknobs and desktops is also effective.
Pollutants can also increase someone's risk of developing bronchitis. Smokers and those who are around cigarette smoke are more at risk for bronchitis than others. Air pollution can also become an irritant to those who are sensitive, such as people with asthma or other respiratory issues. Exposure to pollution and industrial emissions can also result in chronic bronchitis. These irritants create the same effect in the bronchial tubes that result in inflammation and extra mucus production.