Is Bronchitis Contagious?


Bronchitis is usually contagious as it can be caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold, says Vincent Iannelli, M.D. It is typically just as contagious as a cold, and precautions should be taken not to spread it. Some viruses that cause bronchitis include adenoviruses, rhinoviruses and influenza.

Dr. Iannelli explains that acute bronchitis may last from a few days to a few weeks but can linger for a few months. Symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, cough and low-grade fever in the beginning. A productive cough that produces sputum develops later, and wheezing may also be a symptom. If symptoms linger longer than three months and include a chronic cough, an individual may have chronic bronchitis.