Acute bronchitis is known as the inflammation of the bronchi and is a condition which is commonly caused by viral infections, although bacteria and chemicals may be responsible for causing acute bronchitis as well. But is acute bronchitis contagious?
Many people are concerned about getting sick while being in the company of others suffering from acute bronchitis.
Truth is, if the condition has a viral nature, and in most cases it has, it is contagious since viral infections can spread from a person to another through direct and indirect contact. There is no specific period in regards to when acute bronchitis is contagious; as long as the person is infected with acute bronchitis, the risks exists, and the longer the illness lasts, the more are other people at risk from contracting the same disease.
Out of the acute bronchitis symptoms, a cough is the most common and it can last up to several weeks even if the other acute bronchitis symptoms clear up. This cough may bring up clear yellow or green mucus. Further acute bronchitis symptoms include fever, a sore throat, a shortness of breath, chest congestion, body aches, wheezing and chills.
Acute bronchitis treatment is not always sought by people since most cases of acute bronchitis do go away on their own. During the illness period, it is highly recommended to get plenty of rest, hydrate yourself by drinking water, unsweetened tea and fruit juices and increase the humidity in the room. Acute bronchitis treatment may include over-the-counter pain relievers to help reduce fever, inflammation and pain and sufferers can also take anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Cough suppressants can be used as long as the cough is dry, but this is not advised in the case of a cough that brings up mucus since this would interfere with the body’s natural defence system of clearing out the mucus from the bronchial tree. Smoking makes acute bronchitis worse, therefore smokers need to quit this habit at least while the acute bronchitis lasts.
When wondering what is acute bronchitis, it is best to know that antibiotics and asthma medicines may help treat this condition but only if the acute bronchitis is caused by bacteria, respectively if the sufferer notices wheezing symptoms. Medicines that are usually used to treat asthma may come in the form of an inhaler that reaches the bronchial tree, helping to clear out the mucus. Since acute bronchitis can be confused with other diseases that manifest similar symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.