Is Pleurisy Contagious?

Reviewed on 12/22/2020

What Is Pleurisy?

Pleurisy itself is not contagious, however, infections that can cause pleurisy such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, or tuberculosis can be.
Pleurisy itself is not contagious, however, infections that can cause pleurisy such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, or tuberculosis can be.

The pleura are membranes that surround and contain the lungs and separate them from the chest wall, diaphragm, and heart. Pleurisy (pleuritis) is an inflammation of these membranes. The thin space around the membrane is called the pleural space that is usually filled with a small amount of fluid. When the pleura becomes inflamed, it can cause breathing to be painful and fluid may build up in the pleural space.

What Are Symptoms of Pleurisy?

Symptoms of pleurisy include: 

  • Chest pain
    • Most common symptom of pleurisy 
    • May be a sharp, stabbing pain, a dull ache, or a burning sensation
    • Pain is usually worse when inhaling deeply, coughing, sneezing, or moving 
    • Pain is less when taking shallow breaths or lying on the painful side 
  • Cough: may be dry or may contain sputum or blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shallow, rapid breathing
  • Fever (depends on the cause)

What Causes Pleurisy?

Causes of pleurisy include: 

Is Pleurisy Contagious?

Pleurisy itself is not contagious, however, infections that can cause pleurisy such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, or tuberculosis can be.

Bacteria and viruses can be transmitted when people:

  • Inhale respiratory droplets released after an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • Touch something with droplets on it and then touch their mouth or nose
  • Share glasses, plates, or utensils with an infected person

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How Is Pleurisy Diagnosed?

Pleurisy is diagnosed with a patient history and physical examination. Testing that may be indicated to either confirm pleurisy or rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms, may include: 

What Is the Treatment for Pleurisy?

Pleurisy may go away on its own in some cases, depending on the cause. 

Treatment for pleurisy includes: 

What Are Complications of Pleurisy?

Complications of pleurisy include: 

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Reviewed on 12/22/2020
References
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/299959-overview

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tj8148

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pleuritic-chest-pain-the-basics