Is Strep Throat Contagious? How Long Is It Contagious?

Is Strep Throat Contagious

We all have suffered from strep throat from time to time. Do you remember having that scratchy feeling in your throat?

Sometimes, it’d even become difficult to swallow water, so much so that we wonder how long does it take to get over strep throat.

We have all been at the stage where we have thought whether strep throat was contagious. Well, what do you think? Is strep throat contagious? Well, let us find out.

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throatStrep throat (or what we refer to as sore throat) is the result of a bacterial infection (caused by A streptococcal bacteria) that causes pain and inflammation in the pharynx.

While this is a fairly common infection among all age groups, children between the age groups of five and 15 are more prone to this.

Sometimes, pharyngitis (another name for strep throat) is also accompanied by fever.

Now that we know what strep throat is, let us find out – Is strep throat contagious?

Is Strep Throat Contagious?

Is Strep Throat Contagious

Well if you’re wondering is strep throat contagious, the answer is yes, strep throat is contagious. Close contact with someone who is a potential strep throat patient may lead to some medical complications (like fever or a sore throat) for you.

Is strep throat airborne? Yes. A sneeze or a cough from an infected person can make you susceptible to strep throat.

We all wonder the same thing when thinking about contagious diseases like these- how is strep throat spread. The answer is, through bacteria.

Bacteria causing strep throat can be transmitted via saliva, nasal secretions or even the breath of an infected individual. One should be particularly careful during late fall or early spring since the disease is most spread during these times.

It is also advisable to stay cautious when in public places like schools, military barracks, day care centers and offices.

A person suffering from strep throat is likely to infect doorknobs and faucet handles, which increases the risk of catching infection for other people.

How Long Is Strep Throat Contagious?

We often worry whether strep throat is contagious, whether we can catch infection after two-three weeks and other such things.

The duration for which strep throat may be contagious depends on whether the infected person has started treatment or not. If the infected individual has started a course of antibiotics, strep throat stops being contagious after 24 hours of the medication.

Therefore, after medication, strep throat is not contagious (after the first 24 hours).

Now, the question that arises is how long is strep throat contagious without antibiotics. Well, the disease is contagious for about two to three weeks in individuals that do not start antibiotic medicines.

In her column for The Chart (CNN), Dr. Jenniger Shu has explained that a strep throat is most contagious when the symptoms just begin to show up and that there is a 25 percent chance that an infected person can spread the disease to other members of the family.

What Is Strep Throat Incubation Period?

We have all heard doctors talk about incubation period, and we have also had experiences where we’ve had to recount to them our diet of an entire week in the past. Doctors do this to diagnose the disease based on Incubation Period.

A strep throat incubation period would mean time between exposure to germs and development of the first symptoms of a strep throat.

Different diseases have different incubation periods, which largely depend on the infection and can range from a few hours to a few weeks or months.

The typical incubation period is two-five days. The average period is three days, implying that your symptoms of a strep throat will start to develop three days after being exposed to the infection.

How Do You Know You Have Strep Throat?

So far, we have answered the following questions- what is strep throat, is strep throat contagious, what is incubation period and the like.

Now, let us explore the various symptoms of strep throat. It is always beneficial to start early treatment.

Before we look at the symptoms, it is important to note that the incubation period for strep throat is between one and five days after exposure to the bacteria causing infection.

Common symptoms of strep throat are:

  • A sore throat is one of the most common and earliest signs of a strep throat
  • Fever (usually higher than 102F or 38.8C) is also a common symptom
  • Whitish or yellow pus areas on the tonsils and throat
  • You may also experience a mild headache if a strep throat infection is beginning to develop
  • Some people even experience muscle pain, and body aches as strep throat symptoms
  • In some cases, nausea and vomiting are also symptoms
  • A runny nose, constant sneezing, and coughing are also signs that an infection in the throat may be beginning to develop

When another family member or co-worker has been diagnosed with strep throat, and you develop a sore throat or fever, these could be early symptoms of the same infection.

How Is Strep Throat Spread?

Bacteria causing strep throat can be transmitted via saliva, nasal secretions or even the breath of an infected individual.

One should be particularly careful during late fall or early spring since the disease is most spread during these times.

It is also advisable to stay cautious when in public places like schools, military barracks, day care centers and offices.

A person suffering from strep throat is likely to infect doorknobs and faucet handles, which increases the risk of catching infection for other people.

You must also avoid sharing utensils, glasses, plates or bowls with other people, especially those who show symptoms of the disease or are already infected.

Strep Throat Home Remedies

Sometimes, some home remedies are as effective as antibiotic medicines in treating strep throat. Following are some effective remedies for a strep throat:

1. Raw Honey

Raw honeyRaw honey helps in promoting antioxidants in the body, providing overall health benefits.

It also helps in boosting the immune system and is a sooting strep throat remedy. Antibacterial characteristics of honey give it its healing property.

According to studies, medical grade honey have bacterial activity strong enough to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause several infections in humans.

2. Bone Broth

Bone broth

Bone broth is soothing and easy to eat when strep throat or resulting swollen tonsils don’t allow you to eat or swallow much.

The broth also helps in keeping you hydrated and gives your body minerals that it requires to boost its immune system. These minerals, some of which are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and Sulphur, are easy to absorb.

If you do not want to invest time in making bone broth from scratch, you could also use protein powder made from bone broth for a quick recovery from strep throat.

3. Cloves


Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of cloves help soothe and heal strep throat. You can follow the following procedure of mixing cloves with water to soothe your throat.

Add two teaspoons of clove powder into a cup of water and mix well. Gargle with this clove water twice or thrice a day.

It is advised to do it daily until the strep throat is gone. Alternatively, you can also prepare a type of tea using cloves to treat strep throat.

For that, pour water into a pan and let it boil. Put black peppercorns and cloves into the boiling water, and let it simmer for five minutes after having mixed it well.

After, add a piece of lump sugar in it and let it stay for 10 minutes. Strain the water and drink it slowly.

4. Onion


As we are exploring home remedies for treating strep throat, let us also look at onion as an effective remedy.

Onion works very well in speeding up the recovery by killing the bacteria, especially those present in the throat.

To use onion as an effective home remedy, slive an onion. Take some onion slices and chew them for a while.

Slowly swallow them so that the onion juice can act on the bacteria in your throat. Continue doing this every day till you notice an improvement in your throat’s condition.

Alternatively, you can mix three-four tablespoons of onion juice with a glass of hot water. Gargle with this mixture daily, several times a day.

Strep Throat Home Remedies

How To Prevent Strep Throat?


Elderberry has antibacterial and antiviral effects and can protest against respiratory symptoms during long flights, studies have shown.

This protection against respiratory systems also protects the body from virus and bacteria-induced infections.

You can consume elderberry in the form of elderberry tea, or you can use elderberry powder. Elderberry capsules are also available.


One of the most powerful Echinacea benefits, apart from that of preventing the common cold, is its function as an immune-enhancing herb that can stop the spread of bacteria that cause strep throat.

Phytochemicals in Echinacea can keep bacteria and viruses away from healthy cells.

You can also take echinacea to relieve pain related to strep throat. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce swelling in the throat.

You must also increase the intake of Vitamin C and D to prevent your body from catching infections that cause diseases like strep throat. These vitamins play an important role in boosting the immune system of the body.

How to Prevent Strep Throat from Spreading?

We have established that strep throat is contagious. In case you have developed a strep throat, here is how you can prevent it from spreading:

Wash your hands frequently using warm water and soap.

Cover your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze using a tissue or napkin. Consider wearing a flu mask, if possible.

As long as possible, avoid covering your mouth with your hands. In case you have to do so, wash your hands thoroughly and immediately with soap and warm water.

Since strep throat is contagious, refrain from sharing any personal objects like utensils or glasses or cups.

When To Seek Medical Help

Doctor consultationA sore throat or suspicions of a strep throat should not be ignored or self-treated for long, especially if throat infection is accompanied by fever.

Fever of around 102F or 38.8C is a sign that medical assistance should be taken.

A headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting are also signs that a strep throat has developed in the body and needs consultation from a doctor.

If one develops symptoms of drooling, difficulty breathing and swallowing, then they should immediately consult a doctor.

Strep throat, when left untreated for a long time, can cause ear infections, rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, autoimmune disorders and other serious complications. Like it is always said, prevention is better than cure. Don’t delay medical help.

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