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Can CHEST INFECTION pass to other by talking/breathing?

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dear dr please can you tell me can you pass a chest infection to someone just by talking to them or breathing on them ? if you dont have a cough with a chest infection can someone get infected by it?i am worried because my sister who had a chest infection spoke to a grocery man at her door then he came to my house adn put some grocerys inside my house i am scared i will get a chest infection becasue he spoke to my sister who has a chest infection. could you please let me know? thanking you yours sincerely polly

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 27 Doctors Online

Thank you for posting your query at
I understand your concern.
Yes theoretically it is possible to pass on the infection, if someone with an active chest infection manifesting with cough and sputum come close to the normal person. The incidence is lower, and only increases on prolonged exposure. If he did not have any cough, or did not have cold and sneezing then there is no reason to be worried. Only a person who is coughing will spread infected aerosols into the air, which is a potential source of infection.
In your case, i would like to reassure there is nothing to be worried about. Firstly you were not in closed contact, secondly he did not have active coughing and thridly the exposure duration was also very low.
Hope this was helpful,

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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