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Is sinus infection contagious?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Sinus infections, commonly known as sinusitis, can be painful and discomforting, and like many people suffering from sinusitis, you may be worried that you could pass it on to others.

Can you catch a sinus infection?

While sinusitis doesn’t spread from person to person, it’s commonly triggered by viral infections, and less commonly by bacterial infections. 

These contagious infections cause sinusitis and can be serious:

Viral infections:

Bacterial infections: 

  • Staph infection (staphylococcus)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Moraxella catarrhalis

Frequently asked questions about sinusitis

How contagious is sinusitis?

Sinusitis isn’t contagious but the viruses or bacteria causing it can spread. Avoid close contact with infected individuals to prevent transmission.

What can make sinusitis worse?

Sinusitis worsens due to allergens, pollutants, smoking, or bacterial infections. Avoid triggers and seek medical advice from your pharmacist for persistent symptoms.

Is sinusitis infectious?

Sinusitis isn’t typically infectious, but its underlying causes, such as viruses or bacteria, can spread. So, avoid close contact with someone who’s sick to lower your risk.

A man holds his face due to sinus pain, the affected area has been highlighted red

Think you might have a sinus infection?

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What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is a new NHS-funded scheme that helps you quickly get the advice & treatment you need from a pharmacy, without needing to see a GP.

The conditions covered by Pharmacy First are:

Video consultations & advice are free of charge. If you pay for prescriptions you will be charged the prescription rate of £9.65 per prescription item.