Sinus Infection Contagious

By | December 22, 2023

Sinus infection contagious?

Find out if your coworker actually has an infection

Most people who have a sinus infection don’t even know it. They just think they have a bad cold and with the flu pandemic going around, you might be tempted to give your coworker an early end-of-the-year present—the gift of quarantine.

That would be understandable, especially if your coworker has been sneezing and sniffling nonstop for the past week or so. You’ve probably heard somewhere that those are common signs of a viral infection in someone with a weak immune system.
The problem is, your coworker might not have a sinus infection at all.


He may just think he does because he Googled “nasal drip and green mucus” after waking up with a stuffy nose one morning last week (a virus can incubate for up to two weeks before symptoms appear). Or maybe your colleague is dealing with some other kind of nasal congestion caused by allergies, stress or hormonal changes (none of which are contagious).

Sinus infection contagious?

Most people who have a sinus infection don’t even know it. They just think they have a bad cold. And with the flu pandemic going around, you might be tempted to give your coworker an early end-of-the-year present—the gift of quarantine.

What is a sinus infection?

Sinus Infection Contagious


A sinus infection is an inflammation of the sinuses, which are the air-filled cavities behind the nose. They help warm and humidify the air we breathe and also drain mucus from the lungs. Symptoms of a sinus infection include a stuffy or runny nose, pain in the face and head, fatigue, and fever. A sinus infection is also known as acute rhinosinusitis.

It is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, allergies, or a combination of these. The infection then leads to inflammation inside the sinuses, which causes mucus to build up and impair drainage of the sinuses. This can cause pressure and pain in the face and head.

How do you know if you have a sinus infection?

A sinus infection can be diagnosed based on your symptoms and by examining the nasal mucus and the inside of the nose and sinuses with a microscope. The doctor may take a sample from the nose and send it to a lab to identify the bacteria causing the infection.

If you have nasal drip and congestion, along with some of the following symptoms, you might have a sinus infection: – A headache – A change in your sense of smell – Postnasal drip, which is when mucus runs from the back of the nose down the back of your throat – Throat pain or a cough – Bad breath – Ear pain – A fever

Is a sinus infection contagious?

A sinus infection can be contagious if you have bacterial sinusitis. Viral sinusitis is not contagious. A bacterial infection develops when a person contracts a virus, such as the common cold, and then bacteria grows in the infected cells.

Bacteria that cause sinus infections include Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella species.

These bacteria can be transmitted through droplets in the air when someone coughs or sneezes. They can also be transmitted when someone shares a contaminated item, such as a tissue or water bottle.

The best way to prevent a bacterial sinus infection is to wash your hands often and steer clear of sick people. Make sure to avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth, which are the primary ways bacteria can enter the body.

Other reasons for nasal drip and congestion in the workplace

There are a number of other reasons why your coworker may be experiencing nasal drip and congestion in the workplace. Here are a few of them: Allergies: If your coworker has seasonal allergies, they may be experiencing nasal drip and congestion.

This happens when allergens like pollen make their way into the sinuses and cause swelling. Stress:If your coworker is experiencing a lot of stress, their body may be producing excess amounts of the hormone cortisol, which can result in nasal drip.

Hormonal changes: Some women experience nasal drip and congestion around the time of their period. Some women also find that their symptoms are worse during certain phases of the menstrual cycle. This is because of hormone changes.

The takeaway

If your co-worker has nasal drip and congestion, you may be tempted to give them the gift of quarantine. But before you do that, make sure that they actually have a sinus infection. Sinus infections are caused by bacteria and are contagious.

Viral infections are not contagious.If your co-worker has nasal drip, you might want to consider asking them if they have allergies, are stressed, or are going through a hormonal change. With any of these conditions, your co-worker can still be a valuable team member while they try to kick the symptoms.


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