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Doctor insights on: Viral Vs Bacterial Bronchitis Contagious

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How long is someone contagious for when they have the common cold, flu, or bacterial / viral bronchitis?

How long is someone contagious for when they have the common cold, flu, or bacterial / viral bronchitis?

Contagious periods: The contagious period differs for each type of infection, even among different viruses! there is a range of values based on different infections ranging from common cold to influenza. These vary from 24 hours to up to 2 weeks! you should ask your physician what infection you have and for how long you will be contagious. Common sense dictates that respiratory viruses travel by cough or sneeze. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
1,201 doctors shared insights

Bronchitis (Definition)

An inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi. May be caused by either viral or bacterial infections, and is treated with antibiotics , steroids, inhaled bronchodilators, or mucolytics. Bronchitis can ...Read more


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Bacterial or viral bronchitis, how can I tell?

Bacterial or viral bronchitis, how can I tell?

Severity....: Typically, a bacterial bronchitis will give you a higher fever, discolored sputum, malaise, etc. The symptoms with a viral infection tend to be less severe without a fever, clearer sputum, etc. However, there is overlap in symptoms so if you are not sure, you should see your doctor so the infection can be diagnosed and treated. Both can produce a significant and severe cough. ...Read more

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How do you know if you have bacteria or viral bronchitis?

How do you know if you have bacteria or viral bronchitis?

You generally don't: 1st, more than 95% of "bronchitis" is viral. Secondly the other 5% probably resolve spontaneously without any therapy. It really does not matter unless you are otherwise chronically ill from congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Bronchitis is just a term we throw around for people who have a new cough, and it is not really that well defined. ...Read more

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How do doctors know if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

How do doctors know if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

Severity of sxs : Both viral and bacterial bronchitis have similar symptoms but bacterial bronchitis usually has a higher fever, more congestion, etc but there is considerable overlap. Sometimes a sputum culture can be helpful in indentifying which bacteria are present. If there is only a low grade fever, it is usually viral. ...Read more

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How can doctors tell if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

How can doctors tell if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

Cultures&Microscope: Sputun is examined under a microscope and bacteria can be seen. Cultures are allowed to grow few days and pathogens grow and can be identified. Blood tests can show antibodies to various viruses. Clinical findings can help differentiate in some cases. ...Read more

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How do you know difference between bacterial or viral bronchitis?

Few things...: Symptoms for a viral bronchitis tend to be milder( although not necessarily), it resolves on its own and lasts for a shorter period of time.In patients with other risk factors like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma or COPD, smokers, and the like there is a greater risk of developing a bacterial type of infection due to a weak immune system. Pts with a bacteria tend to have more complications ...Read more

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Is bronchitis bacterial or viral?

Is bronchitis bacterial or viral?

Usually viral: Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses, typically the same viruses that cause colds and influenza. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking cigarettes. Air pollution and dust or toxic gases in the environment or workplace also can contribute to the condition. Antibiotics as a whole are overprescribed in bronchitis, though sometimes it is warranted. ...Read more

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Is post viral bronchitis contagious?

Is post viral bronchitis contagious?

Without symptoms: Viral bronchitis is usually contagious 1-4 days after intiation of illness. However coughing and sneezing spreads contagious droplets with virus from person to person. Most safe if not coughing or sneezing. ...Read more

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When and for how long is viral bronchitis contagious?

When and for how long is viral bronchitis contagious?

Difficult to answer: There are many different viruses that can cause bronchitis, all with different incubation periods and different time frames for viral shedding. But, if you have active symptoms like fever, nasal congestion, sore throat, etc., you are likely contagious. The associated cough can last longer than the viral infection so if all the other symptoms are gone, you are possibly no longer contagious. ...Read more

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How to tell if bronchitis is viral or bacterial just by a blood test?

How to tell if bronchitis is viral or bacterial just by a blood test?

Blood isn't best: What is best to diagnose would be a sputum culture and respiratory viral panel if you wanted to isolate the causative agent. A good physical exam and history should be able take care of you in most situations though and help to make sure you don't have pneumonia. Bacteria in the blood is a sign of a more serious infection. ...Read more

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I am sick! do I have viral or bacterial pharyngitis if it went into bronchitis?

I am sick! do I have viral or bacterial pharyngitis if it went into bronchitis?

Could be either...: Acute bronchitis can be due to a bacterial or viral infection of the airways and either can start from a pharyngitis infection. See your doctor to determine which type of infection you most likely have! ...Read more

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Diagnosed w/ non-viral bronchitis. Been on meds for 4 days, now fever came back. Am i contagious again? Why did it come back?

Diagnosed w/ non-viral bronchitis. Been on meds for 4 days, now fever came back. Am i contagious again? Why did it come back?

You had: Antibiotics only for 4 days?! if i understand you that could be why it came back. Even if it was longer you just might need an extended course or a change of the antibiotic. Call your prescribing doc. ...Read more

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Is bacterial conjunctivitis more contagious than viral conjunctivitis?

Is bacterial conjunctivitis more contagious than viral conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis: No, viral conjunctivitis is more contagious than bacterial conjunctivitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis tends not to be contagious unless the surface of the eye is damaged. ...Read more

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How contagious is viral conjunctivitis in comparison to bacterial conjunctivitis?

Infections of the: conjunctiva, whether by virus or bacteria, are usually transmitted by direct contact. The infectious agent is not aerosolized thus it is is transported by either fluid or mucous. ...Read more

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Is acute bronchitis contagious?

Yes: Acute bronchitis is currently considered to be caused mostly by viruses, which are quite contagious. It can be transmitted in the air, by coughing, and by contact with the sick person's hands (if the hands have been coughed on or touched the mouth). The most contagious period is usually early in the illness, and shortly before the illness begins to show symptoms. ...Read more

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Is walking pneumonia or bronchitis contagious?

Is walking pneumonia or bronchitis contagious?

Depends on type: "walking pneumonia" basically means you are not sick enough to be on bed rest in a hospital getting intravenous meds. Some pneumonias have suggestive patterns on an x-ray that suggest the probable germ, many do not.Some are viral & some bacterial.Some can pass to others easily & others seldom do. Discussion with the source of the diagnosis is the best way to find out how easily it spreads. ...Read more

Bacteria (Definition)

Are omnipresent single celled organisms which are the both the simplest form of life and the original form of life on earth. The are ...Read more


Contagious (Definition)

One is able to transmit an infection to another by ...Read more