Sinus infections, or sinusitis, affects millions of people a year in the United States. Sinus infections can be the result of allergies, the common cold or a weakened immune system. According to the Sinus Infection Care Center, sinus infections are not considered to be contagious. The infection is typically the result of other conditions in the body. If the infection is the result of a common cold, the cold may be contagious, but the sinus infection is not.
Sinus infections are not caused by a virus or bacteria like other infections, therefore they do not spread. Instead they are caused by excessive mucus and/or the irritation and swelling of the sinus cavity. When the sinus cavity swells and produces too much mucus, an infection will eventually settle in if not taken care of.
Just because the sinus infection itself is not contagious, if it was the result of the common cold or flu, the cold or flu virus could be contagious. It is recommended that during a sinus infection flare up, a person should wash his hands thoroughly and avoid public places. These precautions will help to prevent any further contamination if the infection was the result of a virus or bacteria.
In order to prevent yourself from getting a sinus infection it is recommended to take a decongestant at the first sign of nasal congestion. During cold and flu season avoid public places, wash your hands frequently and get plenty of rest. Drinking at least six 8-ounce glasses of water a day will also help to prevent a sinus infection from setting in.
The most effective way to identify a sinus infection is excessive nasal congestion accompanied by thick, yellow nasal discharge and a fever. A sinus infection may last for a week and can be cured naturally by the body’s immune system but may need the intervention of antibiotics to fully eradicate it from the body. If you recognize these signs in yourself or someone else, avoid contact with people until the infection clears up completely or you’ve been on antibiotics for at least 3 days.
A sinus infection that is caused by allergies is not contagious at all. A sinus infection caused by the common cold is not contagious, but the cold may be. A sinus infection caused by humidity and weather conditions is not contagious and you can feel free to be in public places and interact with people. Some people suffer from chronic sinus infections due to a malfunction of the sinus cavity and its ability to properly regulate itself; this condition is not contagious either.