Acute bronchitis: Is it contagious?

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Acute bronchitis: Is it contagious?

Question

Is acute bronchitis contagious?

Lindsey
Virginia

Answer

In otherwise healthy people, most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by viral infections — which can spread from person to person through direct and indirect contact. To reduce the risk of "catching" bronchitis, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizers regularly. It's also helpful to get an annual flu vaccination. Many cases of acute bronchitis result from influenza.

Sometimes people who have chronic bronchitis or asthma also develop acute bronchitis. When acute bronchitis develops as a complication of a chronic disease, it's less likely to be contagious.

Last Updated: 2010-10-07
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