Bronchial tubes or bronchi joins the lungs and the trachea. These are the air passages through which the air of the exhalation of inhalation moves in or out of the lungs. Bronchitis is inflammation of the mucous membrane, lining the wall of the bronchial tubes. This inflammation can lead to redness, swelling and pain in the affected area. Infections due to micro-organisms such as viruses or bacteria, irritants such as chemicals and smoking can cause the inflammation of the bronchial tube.
Acute Bronchitis: Is it Contagious?
In most of the cases, acute bronchitis is caused by viral infection. An infection due to viruses such as rhino-virus and adenovirus that are responsible for influenza, can cause inflammation of the bronchial tube. It begins a few days after you had common cold or soreness of throat.
In an individual who is a smoker or is suffering from chronic bronchitis or asthma, bronchial tubes are in no great shape. They are damaged or are impaired. A simple head cold which fails to bother a healthy nonsmoking person, would not spare a smoker. He will come down with the cold, which after a few days, develops into an acute bronchitis. However, according to some experts, it is not a cause of worry, as it has developed as a complication to a chronic disorder. The chances of it being contagious are less, when compared to acute bronchitis due to a viral infection. A healthy person can effectively deal with an acute bronchitis of bacterial origin even without taking antibiotic for it. By taking adequate rest and drinking lots of fluids he can get over it.
How Long is Bronchitis Contagious?
The infection can spread from one individual to another through direct contact such as, when an infected person shakes his contaminated hand with a healthy person. The viral infection can spread through air. When the infected person coughs and sneezes, the tiny drops of the spittle gets airborne. He may inadvertently set the virus that is enveloped in these droplets, airborne. It can infect other members of his family or those in his college or office. This gives the infection causing virus, another lease of life.
A healthy person is at risk of getting infected as long as the affected person in his contact has it. The infection may last for a few days or for a week. There are also cases of acute bronchitis lasting for a few months. The longer it lasts, more is the risk of it infecting others.
It is important to do every effort to halt the spread of the viral infection. The person who has contracted acute bronchitis should take precautions at the time of coughing and sneezing. The person should cover his mouth with a cloth at these instances. Changing this cloth daily will help in controlling the spread of disease. Contagious nature of this infection makes it mandatory for the affected person to wash his hands with soap or using sanitizer more often, as a part of the hygiene regimen. Along with this precaution, the affected person must take rest, drink a lot of water and avoid going to crowded places. Instead of trying to cure this infection by self-medication and using antibiotics in the process, the affected person should take professional help. It is important to note that acute bronchitis is a viral infection and antibiotics won't be helpful in getting rid of it. Your efforts in this direction will only prolong the duration of the infection; and put the individuals around you at the risk of contracting it.
During the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the hair like tiny structures which are referred to as the cilia cease to work. In the normal circumstances, cilia acts as filters, catches and prevent the foreign bodies from entering the lungs. This can cause serious problems for asthma patients suffering from acute bronchitis. Natural remedies for bronchitis and asthma treatment may help the patient to get some relief. If one of your family member is suffering from this disease, it is necessary for you to avoid contact with his or her belongings. Washing your hands with soap or sanitizer is recommended. To minimize the risk of acute bronchitis, you should also think of flu vaccination.