Pink Eye Incubation Period

The incubation period for pink eye is defined as the period between transmission and the beginning of symptoms. Once the virus or bacterium enters the eye, symptoms do not begin immediately. For a viral infection, the incubation period is generally 12 hours to three days. For pink eye caused by a bacterial infection, symptoms generally start one to three days after transmission.

Incubation Period for Pink Eye: An Overview

Pink eye is the layman's term for conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is a clear, thin piece of tissue that covers the whites of the eyes and the inner eyelids.
 
There are several reasons why the conjunctiva can become inflamed. An infection with a virus or bacteria are two reasons. These are known as viral and bacterial conjunctivitis, respectively. Together they are known as infectious conjunctivitis. Other causes of a pink eye can include an allergic reaction or something that irritates the eye. These types, however, are not spread.
 
Both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are highly contagious. They are spread by direct contact with infected eye secretions, or contact with objects or surfaces that have been contaminated with these eye secretions (see Pink Eye Transmission).
 
However, once the virus or bacterium enters the eye, symptoms do not begin immediately. This period between transmission and the beginning of symptoms is called the pink eye incubation period.
 

Incubation Period for Pink Eye Caused by Bacteria or Viruses

The incubation period for pink eye will vary, depending on whether it is caused by bacteria or a virus and the specific type.
 
For a viral infection, generally 12 hours to three days later, signs and/or symptoms of pink eye will appear. For pink eye caused by a bacterial infection, symptoms generally start one to three days after transmission.
 
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Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) Information

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