The bronchi are airway passages that connect the windpipe to the lungs. It is through these passages or tubes that the air moves to and from the lungs. The passages are lined with mucus producing cells. When a foreign particle enters the bronchi, the lining of the tubes get irritated resulting in inflammation. This inflammation of the bronchial tubes is known as bronchitis.
Bronchitis is characterized by persistent cough accompanied with yellow, green or clear phlegm, shortness of breath, pain in the center of the chest and wheezing.
Bronchitis is of 2 types, namely acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis occurs due to viral or bacterial infection, air pollution, allergens and smoke. Whereas chronic bronchitis is seen mostly in people who smoke or take in secondhand cigarette smoke.
When a person gets acute bronchitis, the most common question is whether acute bronchitis is contagious. Acute bronchitis is contagious when it is caused due to a viral infection. The viruses that cause common cold and flu like rhinovirus or adenovirus are responsible for causing acute bronchitis. When this happens, acute bronchitis is contagious and infectious. However, acute bronchitis is brought on due to allergens and pollution, then it is not contagious. So, the answer to the question is acute bronchitis contagious is that acute bronchitis can be contagious based on how the infection is caused.
Acute bronchitis spread via airborne droplets when the infected person sneezes or coughs. These droplets contain the viruses or bacteria that cause the infection. When the droplets are inhaled by another person, he or she too gets bronchitis. The infection is contagious as long as the person has it. The infection can last anywhere from few days to a few weeks. During this period the person is contagious and should not have contact with others. The caregiver should wash their hands with soap and water after tending to the person. All the tissues used by the infected person should be disposed off immediately in a hygienic manner to prevent the infection from spreading.
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