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How contagious is strep throat?

How contagious is strep throat?

, by saikat dutta, 1 min reading time

How contagious is strep throat? Strep throat is highly contagious, especially in the first few days of illness. It's caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, which spreads through respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

  About Strep Throat | Group A Strep | CDC

Here's a breakdown of how contagious strep throat is:

  • Highly contagious: Strep throat is most contagious during the first few days of illness, before antibiotics are started.
  • Spread through droplets: It spreads through droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • Direct contact: You can also get strep throat by sharing utensils, cups, or other objects with an infected person.
  • Incubation period: The incubation period for strep throat is typically 2-5 days, meaning symptoms may not appear until a few days after exposure.
  • Contagious even without symptoms: People can carry strep bacteria without showing symptoms and still spread it to others.
  • Antibiotics reduce spread: Once antibiotics are started, people are typically less contagious within 24 hours.

How contagious is strep throat? Here are some things you can do to help prevent the spread of strep throat:

  • Wash your hands frequently: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Stay home when sick: Stay home from work, school, or other activities if you have strep throat. This will help prevent you from spreading the infection to others.
  • Clean surfaces: Disinfect surfaces that have been touched by an infected person.

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