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Is Asthma Contagious?

The word “asthma” comes from the Greek meaning difficulty breathing. It is not a contagious disease and can affect anyone, including children.

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Like many other diseases, asthma has not escaped the beliefs or unfounded myth. There is a belief that asthma can be transmitted. Just because a person is suffering from asthma and cough, does not mean he has a germ that can be spread through coughing. It cannot be transmitted from person to person or sharing things.

Asthma is a chronic disease caused by spasm of the bronchial muscles that causes airways to swell and narrow. Although it cannot be cured, asthma can be controlled by reducing the attack through care.

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The difference between the respiratory tract of patients with asthma (right) and people who do not suffer from asthma (left)

Experts also estimate that 80 percent of deaths among people with asthma can be prevented if they are given proper education to tackle the disease. Although it is not contagious, asthma can be inherited, in which the children of people with this disease have a higher risk. There is an inherited component to the development of asthma and allergy. If one parent has asthma or is allergy, a child has a greater chance of developing asthma and/or allergies as compared to another child whose parents have neither asthma nor allergy.

Asthma is a chronic lifelong disease that cannot be ignored even if no symptoms. Asthma is a long-life condition which is non-curable. However, with proper medication, small tweaks in your lifestyle, diet and environment one can keep it under control and prevent it from getting worse.


  1. Ministry Of Health Malaysia. Clinical Practise Guideline For Management Of Childhood Asthma 2014.
  2. Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention: Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) (updated 2012).


Last Reviewed : 8 April 2016
Writer : Dr. Noor Hafiza bt. Noordin
Accreditor : Dr. Jamalul Azizi b. Abdul Rahaman


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