Acute bronchitis: Is it contagious?

content provided by

Acute bronchitis: Is it contagious?


Is acute bronchitis contagious?

No name
No state given


Yes. Most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by viral infections. Influenza viruses are a common cause, but many other viruses also have been identified in people with acute bronchitis. These viruses spread from person to person through direct and indirect contact.

To reduce the risk of "catching" bronchitis:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizers regularly
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Get an annual flu vaccination

People who have chronic bronchitis or asthma sometimes develop acute bronchitis. In these cases, the acute bronchitis is most likely a complication of their existing condition, and not caused by an infectious virus, so it's less likely to be contagious.

Last Updated: 2013-05-23
© 1998-2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use


Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version