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Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Internal Medicine
Emory University
131 Answers
108,810 Helpful Votes

No, sepsis itself is not contagious. Sepsis is an out-of-control infection due to bacteria, viruses, or other invading organisms. When an infection becomes uncontrolled, localized symptoms (like diarrhea from E. coli food poisoning, or coughing and sneezing from influenza) become serious whole-body symptoms like a rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, and confusion.

Although a person’s infection itself may be contagious (you’d have to know the specific organism to say), sepsis is a complicated response to infection that varies widely between individuals, and is poorly understood in general. However, it’s clear that most people with sepsis don’t transmit their infection to anyone else, and most people with infections (from any cause) don’t get sepsis.

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