How long is broncitis contagious for?

I think my boyfriend probably has bronchitis. His only symptoms are a cough that he has had for a couple days. Having had bronchitis before I don’t want to catch it again. I am wondering how long before I can kiss him, and not catch bronchitis?

Do you live together? If so you are probably already swimming in germs. That said I am not so sure it’s easy to catch bronchitis. IANAD but I bet he has a viral thing. It’s more common. Wash hands like a mad person, clean with a good disinfectant. Get fresh air and plenty of rest. Good luck.


Bronchitis is an inflammation of the Bronchi …figure out what the cause of the inflammation is first. It could be viral, bacterial, environmental or self induced.

May not even be contagious…if he/she smokes a lot.


Its probably ebola.

I’ve had chronic bronchitis my entire life and I don’t think I’ve ever infected anyone. You’re either prone to get it or you’re not. If you’re not, then the worst you have to do is be like my wife and have to listen to him hork up phlegm quite often. In 3 decades +, she has never gotten bronchitis.

No we don’t live together.

I’m not an MD IRL (see my avatar!), but WebMD gives a pretty good answer. It depends on the type of bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is not contagious at all, but acute bronchitis is commonly caused by cold or flu viruses and is very much contagious. The range of time that an acute bronchitis sufferer is contagious varies from a few days to a week.

I know there are some doctors on this board, can any give their input here please?

Okay, MD chiming in. I differ some with the WebMD take.

Yes the viruses are that commonly are the trigger for episodes of acute bronchitis are contagious. In some people those viruses cause cold symptoms, in some a sore throat, and in some the symptom and physical exam findings complex that gets labelled as acute bronchitis. How the virus manifests if you catch it is individual dependent. And how that clinical complex gets labelled also varies by provider, maybe acute bronchitis, maybe an asthma flare, maybe “walking pneumonia” … When I am looking for a family history of asthma I’ll usually add in questions about recurring acute, or “seasonal” bronchitis.

Short version - if you’ve not been prone to “bronchitis” or wheezing or prolonged coughs in the past you may catch the virus but it is relatively unlikely to manifest as bronchitis in you. In general these viral infections are most contagious a day or so before knowing you are sick until about three or four days into it although there is still some lower risk after that.

But even if you yourself have bronchitis wouldn’t the person you give it to catch a cold from you, not bronchitis? Bronchitis is something a cold turns into if you’re unlucky, as far as I know.