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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can infections be contracted from being near someone who coughs?

Answered by
Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1954

Answered : 4372 Questions

Posted on Fri, 10 May 2019 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Two questions
1)just in a shop a person was coughing, he was three to four meter away. As he coughed I just noticed and covered with my nose and mouth with my hand and finishing my work for just a few seconds I left out. As my question is can there be a chance of any infection or getting infected by that person especially tb infection. He was coughing in the road which is open space.
What are the chances of getting infection. Since I was carrying in one hand grossery. The other hand I covered my mouth

Second question
My daily diet to increase my immunity I daily take
Breakfast with eggs and pineapple juice
Again in lunch with small rice vegetables butter milk and two egg white
Evening biscuits small quantity of rice
Night light dinner
And 500ml of milk with proteinex powder
Sir is my diet is sufficient for good immunity

I always try to take rest for six to seven hours
Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 6 hours later
Brief Answer:

Such exposures are common in XXXXXXX

Detailed Answer:


In a country like XXXXXXX almost all of us have the germs of tuberculosis in our bodies even though only a handful few actually get the disease.

You have rightly identified a coughing person to be a possible source and much of the exposure cannot really be avoided.

But ultimately it is your immunity that is going to bail you out.

Take colorful fruits and vegetables to enhance your immunity. Continue to take the other measures that you do.

However, I would not support taking Proteinex powder as I do not think that it would help.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care

Dr Prof. Kunal Saha, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 1 hour later
Sir for that particular encounter of coughing person as I said, I used my hand to cover my nose and mouth as I noticed for that small amount of time. So what are chances of mine to get protected from my hand or I am just uninfected
Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 2 hours later
Brief Answer:

No need to worry

Detailed Answer:


I am not worried about tuberculosis. But there are numerous respiratory pathogens (mainly viruses which cause common cold) that can come out as aerosols while coughing. By covering your respiratory inlets you have taken a reasonable protection. I do not think that you need to worry further.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Prof. Kunal Saha, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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