I have two more days to go on a 6 day antibiotic treatment. Am I contagious?

I’m being treated for bronchitis with a z pack. Can I be around my young grandkids tomorrow? I’ll be down to one pill.

I’m still coughing a lot and blowing my nose a bit, but no fever.

I skipped last weekend because I was quite ill and so I miss them, but don’t want to be a risk for them.

So what do you think?

I know you’re not my doctor, etc.


Considering that ~90% of bronchitis is viral, not bacterial, where you are in your antibiotic course probably has no effect on whether you’re contagious. I would assume that as long are you are coughing you are contagious.

Oh darn.

Thank you.

Assuming viral you were most contagious the first several days and minimally so after that. Bacterial generally not contagious 24 hours on med.

Your grandkids not newborns? Seriously don’t worry about it. Be sure to cough into your elbow and wash your hands but the risk you present to them is teeny tiny tiny … smaller than they get going to the grocery store with Dad or Mom.

Are either of them in daycare or preschool? If so they swim in the infectious disease cespool and you are relatively less than a raindrop. The risk preschoolers are to you … well bigger but worth it, aint it?

Have you had your flu shot and been immunized for pertussis (the TDaP)? For their sakes’ both good things.

In general, 24-48 hours after starting antibiotics. So Day 3 is when you can start being around other people again.

But if you’re still coughing a lot, you should call your doctor first. If the Z-pak was going to take care of it, I’d expect some improvement by now. So you may still be contagious with something the Z-pak isn’t killing. (Or not. I don’t know your medical history. Best to ask your doctor.)

I agree with this. Unless the kids are very young or immune compromised don’t sweat it too much. Just wash your hands frequently and don’t cough directly at them.

Symptoms of acute bronchitis generally last about 3 weeks. If you’re curious here’s what the American Academy of Family Physicians has to say about it. So assuming that you were sick for 5-7 days before seeing a doctor about your cough, plus 5 days since then you should be getting close to the end of it.