Bronchitis or inflammation of the bronchi, which carry air to the lungs, is a common condition, so people wonder, is bronchitis contagious? The answer is not cut and dry – it really depends on the type of bronchitis.

Bronchitis can be categorized as chronic or acute. Acute bronchitis is caused by an upper respiratory tract infection. About 90 percent of the time, this type of infection is caused by a virus, like the common flu. It is easy to identify due to the cough and mucus that it produces. When a person with acute bronchitis coughs or sneezes, he or she is releasing millions of tiny droplets that contain the virus, so in this case, the answer to the question whether bronchitis is contagious would be yes. On the other hand, chronic bronchitis does not come from an infectious agent. It does not get passed from one person to another, therefore, it is not contagious. Chronic bronchitis is usually caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to pollution or cigarette smoke.

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