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Strep Throat Transmission

The bacteria that cause strep throat are spread through infected mucus, nasal discharge, or saliva. Transmission of strep throat can happen by coughing or sneezing, or by touching a surface that contains infectious fluids. It typically takes about two to four days after coming in contact with these bacteria for symptoms of the throat infection to start.

How Is Strep Throat Spread?

Strep throat is a contagious throat infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. It is typically transmitted through contact with infected throat mucus, nasal discharge, or saliva. This can happen in one of a couple of different ways.

Coughing, Sneezing, or Touching

Transmission of "strep throat" bacteria can occur:
  • When a person infected with group A streptococcus sneezes or coughs, and infected droplets spray into the air. The infected mucus can land in another person's nose, throat, or eyes and enter their body.
  • By touching a surface or object that has infectious fluids on it. If a person touches their mouth, nose, or eyes after touching something that has these fluids, the bacteria can be passed on to that person.

How Long After Transmission Do Symptoms Occur?

When someone becomes infected with group A streptococcus, they do not immediately have any signs or symptoms of strep throat; it takes about two to four days on average for symptoms to start. This period between transmission and the beginning of symptoms is called the "strep throat incubation period."
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Strep Throat Information

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