Are Sinus Infection Contagious? Breaking Down the Myth

A simple and plain answer for the question is both “YES” and “NO”.

The status of sinusitis depends upon its causes. A couple of types of sinusitis can spread from person to person. It’s not a highly contagious illness. It’s worth using a detailed understanding of sinus infections to comprehend the contagious possibilities with the disorder.

Common Symptoms Of Sinusitis

Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection or rhino sinusitis, is inflammation of the sinuses resulting in symptoms.

Acute sinus infection can be really a really irritating wellness issue. Thankfully, the acute sinusitis will not last for more than a time or 2.

  • Listed below are the common symptoms of sinusitis:

    •    Headache
    •    Pain in the sinuses
    •    Pain between the eyes and sides of nose
    •    Runny or plugged nose
    •    Thick yellow, yellow, green, or dark gray nasal discharge
    •    Poor of sense of smell
    •    Sore throat
    •    Cough
    •    Fever
    •    Fatigue
    •    Bad breath

The majority of those common symptoms can possibly be experienced with a patient. It might take up to seven days for your symptoms to completely subside. Sinusitis caused by bacterial infection is acute and lasts longer.

Are Sinus Infection Contagious? Breaking Down the Myth

Patients suffering from chronic sinusitis might undergo recurring attacks of this disorder several times at a year. Regarding chronic sinusitis, a several symptoms can last for months.

Causes of Sinus Infection:

Sinus does occur because of infection in the sinuses.

Usually, mucus or fluid trapped inside sinuses supplies a conducive condition to the growth of germs that result in infection.

  • Common causes of sinus infections include:
    •    Bacteria
    •    Viruses
    •    Fungi
    •    Nasal tumour
    •    Nasal polyps
    •    Allergies
    •    Deformed or deviated septum

Chronic sinusitis is generally caused by polyps, deviated septum or allergies. Sinusitis can also happen because of chilly air, cigarette smoking or regular breathing of polluted air.

Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

Sinusitis caused by a virus is highly contagious as viruses may quickly move from 1 person to alternative through air, water or even touch. Viruses that cause cold or influenza have been highly contagious and possess potential effect in causing a sinus infection.

Are Sinus Infection Contagious? Breaking Down the Myth

But, persons using a healthier immune system may resist the potentially harmful viruses that might cause influenza, cold or sinus. Sinus caused by bacteria or fungi are not contagious. Rarely is it that people get influenza or sinus because of bacteria or bacterial attacks.


Over 90 percent of incidences of influenza or cold happen because of viral infection. Viral infections which cause cold or flu are contagious. Rhinoviruses along with flu viruses A and B are just two common viruses responsible for influenza or sinus.A person who suffers from recurring cold and influenza is highly susceptible to develop sinusitis problem. The sinus problem caused by a virus is more contagious.

Are Sinus Infection Contagious? Breaking Down the Myth

But, spreading the virus into another person will not guarantee that person may find a sinus infection. The transferred virus might cause influenza, cold or sinus at another person.

Sinus virus spreads once the infected person coughs or sneezes in others presence. You ought to be mindful to cover your nose and mouth as you cough or sneeze to prevent the spread of these viruses at the air. Should you not need handkerchief or tissues available for covering your mouth and nose, it’s recommended to cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.

Make certain not spill the mucus at common chambers and places that you share with others.
The respiratory viruses which cause colds, influenza, and sinusitis spread mostly via contact.
If you’re suffering from the flu, then it’s better in order to avoid physical contact with others. Attempt to clean the hands after coughing or blowing your nose again.


Sinuses full of mucus give a perfect environment for its speedy growth and multiplication of bacteria. The abrupt growth of bacteria at the sinuses gives rise to an infection which causes influenza, cold or sinusitis. Sinus caused by bacterial infection lasts for several days, and the patient might undergo high fever and headache. Flu or Sinus caused by bacterial infection is not contagious.

Four Chief types of bacteria which cause influenza or sinus are:
•    Streptococcus pneumonia
•    Staphylococcus aureus
•    Haemophilus influenza
•    Moraxella catarrhalis

Sinus caused by bacterial infection is rare. Bacteria cause significantly less than two per cent of sinus infections within the globe.

How Is Sinusitis Spread?

Sinusitis causing virus has been transferred like viruses which cause cold or influenza.
It spreads from breathing from the virus. Touching nose or mouth with hands contaminated with viruses may also cause this upper respiratory infection.

A virus-infected person spreads the virus from the air through openly sneezing or coughing.
Physical contact with the patient or touching the items touched with the patient can also result in spread of this illness

How Long Does Sinus Infection Stay Potentially Contagious?

Are Sinus Infection Contagious? Breaking Down the Myth

The virus remains occupied for several days till they’re wholly eliminated from the body through drugs.

The infection is potentially contagious from day or two until you have the sinus infection.
Sinus shell virus may spread to get a couple days; in a few events, you might pass it to get a week or even more.

Treatment For Sinus

It’s possible to discover several treatment solutions for getting rid of sinusitis.

A number of those favorite remedies would be:
•    Saline nasal irrigation and saline nasal sprays,
•    Pain relievers,
•    OTC Decongestants,
•    OTC fever reducers,
•    Antihistamines,
•    Balms, essential oils or natural home remedies for loosening the mucus,
•    Bed rest.

For those who get a severe sinusitis, you have to seek the assistance of a ENT specialist or physician for treatment.  

Commonly used prescription remedies for sinus are:

•    Antibiotics (for bacterial infections only),
•    Nasal antihistamine sprays,
•    Nasal corticosteroids and sprays,
•    Sinus surgery,
•    Oral or injected corticosteroids,
•    Immunotherapy.

When to Seek Medical Help?

Sinus infection is generally manageable at home using herbal remedies or OTC drugs. But, you need to become treated with a doctor when you’ve got severe sinus using full blown symptoms.

You need to have a detailed medical exam for those who have:
•    Blared or double vision;
•    High fever — above 102 degrees F (38.8 C.);
•    Stiff neck;
•    A severe headache and swollen forehead;
•    Redness in around the eyes;

Bottom Line

Are sinus infections contagious? Yes but merely the sinusitis caused by a virus is contagious, yet others are not. After the sinus inducing virus has been transferred from 1 person to another, perhaps it does not cause sinus at the 2nd person.

The contagious virus can cause a common cold or influenza at the different person that has freshly acquired the virus from the sinusitis patient.

When you’ve got sinusitis caused by a virus, then it’s necessary to adopt precautionary measures to prevent the spread of this virus into other individuals.

If at all possible, avoid being in crowded areas to reduce the amount of people who would possibly be exposed to this virus.

Most the sinusitis infections are curable using OTC drugs and natural home remedies. But, chronic sinus issues need protracted treatment under the guidance of your physician to be rid of this issue.

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