Strep throat is one of the common contagious illnesses that widely affects school children and teens as they spend a lot of time in close quarters with their mates. This article shares some insights on strep throat that will help you know when it can be more contagions, and how to control it.
When children play in large groups it is easier for strep bacteria to pass on to other healthy kids causing them to fall sick and suffer from different strep throat symptoms. Strep bacteria is generally present in the nose and throat of an infected person which makes it easier for the bacteria to reach other victims.
Some usual habits like sneezing and coughing can throw the bacteria in the air which can be later inhaled by the other children along with tiny droplets that contain strep throat. So, the strep infection can spread from person to person in no time. Hence, strep throat patients are asked to stay away from crowds. But very few people are aware of the time period when the strep infection is contagious.
When is Strep Throat Most Contagious?
A person attacked by strep throat bacteria falls sick 4 to 5 days after acquiring the bacteria. So a person may pass on the bacteria unknowingly to others, which is the biggest reason why strep throat is so contagious. So, by the time a person experiences symptoms and is diagnosed with strep throat infection, he or she has already passed on the bacteria to others.
The symptoms of strep throat include fever, red throat, sore throat, headache, stomach ache, nausea, chills, uneasiness, loss of appetite, and difficulty in swallowing, etc. Once the person identifies the symptoms and takes treatment, within 24 hours the bacteria become ineffective and passive, and is generally not contagious after that. So, basically, a strep throat is contagious for around a week from the time the person has acquired the bacteria.
But it is very difficult to count the time frame in this manner because a person affected by strep throat himself may not know about the infection till he actually starts experiencing the symptoms. If the person is diagnosed with strep throat infection and is kept on antibiotics, within a week all the strep throat bacteria should be eliminated but after 24 hours of the treatment the bacteria seem to become ineffective. Which means that infection becomes noncontagious after 24 hours of treatment. But many health experts believe that some strep bacteria may be active even after 24 hours and hence, it is advisable to isolate the infected person till the symptoms of strep throat are disappeared completely.
Preventing Strep Throat
Though strep throat is not a life-threatening infection under usual conditions, it is better to treat it as early as possible to prevent the infection from spreading to others as well as to other body parts of the infected person. Though challenging, it is quite possible to prevent yourself from getting infected by strep bacteria. Basic hygiene practices, such as, washing hands before eating, or before touching the face, not sharing personal things like, toothbrush and towels with others can help one stay away from strep bacteria.
Another way to keep strep at bay is staying away from a person who is infected with strep bacteria. If not, you must ensure that you clean your hands thoroughly after coming in contact with them or the objects that may be infected. Also avoid sharing utensils, food, cloths, or makeup with them. Those who are suffering from strep infection should avoid coughing and sneezing without any precaution, they should use disposable tissues while sneezing and coughing to minimize the risk of spreading the infection. It is also suggested to avoid public places, including schools, work places, and play grounds, for around 24 to 48 hours after following an antibiotic treatment.
So, now you know how long is strep throat contagious and when it is more contagious. Share this information with your friends and loved ones to prevent and control strep infections in future.