Is Strep Throat Contagious? Is Strep Throat Contagious?

Is Strep Throat Contagious?


The bacterial infection streptococcal pharyngitis is also known as strep throat. It usually occurs quickly and is painful. There is typically a fever associated with strep throat. For treatment, it's essential to recognize the signs and symptoms and to see a doctor.

What Is Strep Throat?

A severe sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection called strep throat. A fever of at least 101oF is often present when it first appears. Unlike other sore throats, strep typically causes white or red bumps across the back of the mouth and throat.

What Causes Strep Throat?

Usually, strep throat is caused by group A strep, also known as streptococcus. Streptococcal pharyngitis is a highly contagious disease. Easily spread by coughing, sneezing, sharing dishes or utensils, hugging or kissing, and other close contact.


Contaminated surfaces can also transmit strep throat. You can get it if you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes without washing your hands after coming into contact with an exposed surface.

Symptoms Of Strep Throat

Symptoms of strep throat include:


  • Strep throat causes severe sore throats, which come on faster and are more painful than cold sore throats.


  • In most cases of strep throat, a fever of 101oF or higher is present.


  • When swallowing, you may experience a lot of pain.


  • Often, red or white spots appear on the mouth's roof and the throat's back.


  • Tonsils may appear red or have white patches or pus visible in the mouth, along with swelling.


Symptoms may also include:


  • Vomiting or nausea


  • Aches in the body


  • Rashes


  • Having a headache


  • Lymph nodes or glands that are swollen and tender


Who's More Likely To Get It?

The most common age group for strep throat is between 5 and 15. Infections are most common in the fall and spring, but group A strep can be acquired anytime.


How Long Is Strep Throat Contagious For?

The incubation period with strep throat is 2-5 days. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, you are contagious during this time. After you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours or taking antibiotics for strep throat for at least a day, you may still be able to spread strep throat.

How The Bacteria Spreads

Like other types of strep bacteria, Group A strep spreads easily. Close contact or sharing surfaces can spread strep throat.

How To Prevent Spreading Strep Throat

Antibiotics can prevent strep throat from spreading. Even if you still have symptoms after starting antibiotics, you will not be contagious within two days. Practicing good hygiene, frequently washing your hands, not sharing utensils, and not getting up close to others can also prevent it from spreading.


As well as droplets from coughing, sneezing, and saliva, strep throat can also be spread by contaminated surfaces. To prevent strep throat, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and disinfect surfaces.

Recovering From Streptococcal Pharyngitis

When you take antibiotics for strep throat, recovery is straightforward. Symptoms should begin to improve within 48 hours of starting antibiotics. It won't take long for you to feel normal again after that.


To avoid bacterial resistance, you should still complete your course of antibiotics. Tell your doctor if you do not feel better after 48 hours on an antibiotic. You may need to take a different medication or undergo another treatment.

When To See A Doctor 

You should consult a doctor if you develop a sudden, painful, sore throat and a fever.

Having difficulty opening your mouth, being unable to swallow fluids to stay hydrated, or being unable to speak are all signs of a potential emergency, and you should see your doctor immediately.


You should get medical attention if you suspect strep throat or have white or red spots at the back of your throat that feel painful.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Safe Is It To Be Around Someone Who Has Strep Throat?

It is highly contagious to have strep throat. You can contract strep throat by being within reach of the coughs or sneezes of someone contagious. You could contract strep throat if you do not wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face. A person with strep throat should avoid close contact unless they have been fever-free for 24 hours or have been on antibiotics for a full day.

When You Have Strep Throat, Do You Stay At Home?

If you have strep throat, stay inside until you are no longer contagious. This happens if you haven't had a fever for 24 hours or taken antibiotics for at least a day.


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