ZocdocAnswersCan I see my grandparents one week after showing symptoms of bronchitis?

Question

Can I see my grandparents one week after showing symptoms of bronchitis?

I believe I have bronchitis, flu like symptoms without the nausea and I am coughing up white phlegm every ten or so coughs. I had a fever and body aches for one night two days ago. Now I am dealing with sinus congestion and ear pressure. My roommate was sick last week with the same symptoms and I believe I caught this from her by way of sharing surfaces (don’t know if that helps decide if it’s viral). I am going to be heading home for Thanksgiving next week (in 4 days) and I am supposed to be staying with my grandparents. I’m just wondering if there is a danger that I could still pass this on to them. Should I stay somewhere else? Can I still see them or should I not be around them at all? My sister actually works at the same office as my roommate and everyone there is getting sick. Could my sister be in danger of passing something on to my grandparents as well? I don’t believe she has shown any symptoms yet.

Answer

It sounds like your symptoms are pretty severe and, if anything, they are getting worse. For example, you are having persistent cough, fatigue, fever, and sinus pressure. Before traveling or visiting friends and family, I think it would be a good idea to visit your primary care doctor for a checkup. Your doctor will be able to perform a good physical examination and make sure that you are not actively contagious with any infection. It is most likely that you are getting over a viral infection, like the common cold, in which case you may be contagious for up to two weeks, although the peak contagious period has probably already passed since you are more than a week into your symptoms. On the other hand, if this is something more severe than a viral infection, like a bacterial infection in your lungs, you may need to take prescription antibiotics and definitely stay away from elderly people or others at risk of catching your infection until the antibiotics have started to work. Start by booking an appointment with your doctor. They will be to give you advice about what to do with this issue.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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