Strep throat is a contagious infection transmitted through close contact with an infected person or object. A definitive diagnosis can be made only after a positive throat culture. The treatment is decided based on the symptoms, if these clearly indicate an infection. In confirmed or highly likely cases, an antibiotic treatment prescribed by a doctor can speed recovery, prevent complications and stop the disease from being contagious. However, many people do not realize how long is the strep throat contagious and as a result infect others.
In trying to find out how long is your strep throat contagious, you must remember when the symptoms first appeared. Usually there is a 2 to 5 day asymptomatic period after exposure to the bacteria. During this period, you will inevitably spread the strep throat to the people you come in contact with. Once you experience symptoms, precautions such as isolation must be taken so you do not infect others. If you are not sure you have strep throat, consult your physician and get tested.
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Although this disease is most contagious when the symptoms are present, it can be contagious for up to 3-4 weeks if left untreated, even if the individual feels fine. The bacteria spread from person to person and from the droplets released in the air when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. An uninfected person can breathe the droplets through the air. Other ways strep throat can spread is by hand to hand contact and touching contaminated objects. If viruses and strep throat are going around your office, you can prevent the spread by frequent hand washing.
If not treated correctly, the disease can cause serious complications and you can infect other people because you cannot be sure how long is your strep throat contagious. An antibiotic treatment can alleviate the symptoms and after 24 hours you will stop being contagious. Usually the symptoms last for one week without treatment but the antibiotics should reduce fever and other manifestations of the disease within 48 hours. Even if the symptoms cease, you should continue with the course of antibiotic for as long as your doctor recommended in order to prevent serious complications such as rheumatic hearth disease.
People are prone to the infection when they have a week immune system, such as times of stress or when they do not get enough sleep. Strep throat is more apt to occur during colder seasons. In order to avoid getting it, make sure you wash your hands often with soap and warm water and avoid contact with people who are ill. To keep your immune system strong, sleep at least 7 hours per night, exercise 30 minutes daily, maintain a healthy, balanced diet and manage your stress levels appropriately.