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Is it okay to fly with bronchitis?

By Anonymous February 26, 2011 - 4:08pm
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I am supposed to fly out to see my Mom on Tuesday the 1st of March. I have been battling an upper respiratory infection and bronchitis for the past two weeks now. I had antibiotics for five days and I still have the same symptoms, though not quite as bas as it was the first week. I cough mostly at night and have shortness of breath. Is it okay to fly like this? Will it worsen? Please answer soon! Thanks! Delaine

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Hi Delaine,
If you are still symptomatic after your treatment has ended, it is best to call your doctor to make sure your body is healing. You may need additional treatment, and you can ask your doctor for his/her recommendation about your specific situation regarding travel. I would worry most about the shortness of breath symptom, and of course passengers would worry most about coughing-- I am not sure if there are airline policies regarding travelers with active illnesses flying (at least bronchitis is not contagious, but you do want to make sure your illness is under-control).

I would also be concerned about your weakened immune system (from being sick) that you are more likely to become infected from any passengers who are carrying the influenza, RSV or any other virus.

A quick call to your doctor's office Monday morning would be wise, and specifically to check your lingering symptoms to make sure you are okay to travel. You do not want your bronchitis to turn into pneumonia (and it would not necessarily be from the plane-ride itself, just from your symptoms not being fully treated, as well as being more likely to catch other illnesses).

February 27, 2011 - 8:43am
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