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How Long Is Strep Throat Contagious?

If you have been diagnosed with strep throat, you may be wondering, "How long is it contagious?" After you have been infected with the strep bacteria, you can pass the infection to others for up to four weeks, even if you don't have symptoms. However, if you receive treatment with antibiotics, after 24 hours, you will no longer spread the bacteria to others. Children can return to school and adults to work after 24 hours of taking antibiotics.
During the first 24 hours, there should also be a drop in temperature. Other symptoms will start to improve around day two or three of treatment. Even if you are feeling better, make sure not to stop the treatment too early or skip a dose, as this could allow the bacteria to become resistant to the medication. This could allow the infection to spread and may require longer treatment.
If symptoms worsen or do not improve within a few days after starting treatment, contact your healthcare provider again.
(For more information on how long strep throat is contagious, click Strep Throat Treatment. This article stresses the importance of treating this type of throat infection and describes several treatment options that are available.)
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