You may be feeling just fine, but depending on your illness you could be contagious for several weeks after symptoms start!
Here’s how long you could be contagious if you have one of the following common illnesses:
The stomach flu (norovirus or rotavirus) – If you have the norovirus, common in adults, or rotavirus, common in children, you could be contagious for one to three weeks from the time symptoms disappear.
The Flu (Influenza A or B)- If you have the flu, you may be contagious for one to two weeks from the time symptoms disappear.
The Common Cold (Rhinovirus)- If you have the common cold, you may be contagious for one to two weeks from the time symptoms disappear.
Strep Throat (Group A Streptococcus)- If you think you have Strep, it’s imperative that you visit your primary care physician or local urgent care to get tested. If you test positive, your medical care provider will prescribe antibiotics, which will not only get you feeling better quick, but will also prevent you from being contagious for long! After taking antibiotics, those with strep are only contagious for up to 24 hours.
Upper Respiratory Infection (Acute Bronchitis)- Since this type of infection can be caused by a virus or bacteria, the amount of time you’re contagious will depend on the course of treatment. You may be contagious for several weeks especially if you’re still coughing despite feeling better overall.
In conclusion, even when you’re feeling better, continue to wash your hands as much as possible and avoid physical contact with others, especially those with weakened immune systems, for at least a little while to prevent your illness from spreading.
*Blog adapted from: https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/how-long-am-i-contagious