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Could your cough be contagious?

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Right here in the middle of cold and flu season, it’s not surprising that Bronchitis is What’s Going Around. Centra Care locations report an increase in Bronchitis cases among both adult and pediatric patients.

Acute bronchitis typically develops from colds and other upper respiratory infections.

Are you coughing? Do you feel tired? Have a feeling of soreness or tightness in your chest? Then you may have What’s Going Around.

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Bronchitis is an inflammation of the large air passages in the lungs. It occurs when the lining in the airways becomes irritated and swollen. Symptoms of bronchitis include a dry cough that develops into a cough with mucus, wheezing, fatigue, chest tightness and a mild fever; sometimes with chills.

Acute bronchitis is contagious, so washing your hands and keeping them away from your face is an important step in prevention. A flu shot is also recommended because many cases of bronchitis are a result of a bout with influenza.

​Bronchitis usually goes away on its own in about a week, but if your symptoms worsen, you have shortness of breath or a fever that lasts more than four or five days, you should head to Centra Care or see your doctor.

If you suspect you have bronchitis there are some things you can do at home to lessen the severity of symptoms:

  • Over the counter medications can help pain, fever and cough
  • A humidifier can help break up mucus
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Keep away from tobacco smoke