When is the child contagious?

When is the child contagious?

Contagious diseases - those of childhood (chickenpox, fifth disease, measles, mumps, scarlet fever, etc.), conjunctivitis, respiratory viruses, streptococcal pharyngitis, etc. - have their own characteristics and different contagion intervals during or before their actual manifestation. These coincide with the period when the child can transmit the virus or bacteria and can infect those around him. This is when the child is contagious in the case of the most common childhood diseases!


Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye, that is, the inner lining of the eyelids and part of the eyeball. There are several types of conjunctivitis, depending on the triggering factor or cause: infectious, allergic or irritant. Only the infectious one is contagious.

The period of contagiousness in case of infectious conjunctivitis starts from the moment of the onset of symptoms and ends after 24 hours from the beginning of the treatment administration. Until then, the child is contagious, and people who come into contact with the tears of the child or the objects he touched after taking the handcuffs to the eye risk to become infected and also present this unpleasant condition.


Cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract and a contagious disease that frequently affects young children. The specialists estimated that a child between the ages of 1 and 3 manifests around 12 colds per year.

The child is contagious throughout the infection. But the maximum period of contagiousness, in the case of the cold, is between days 3 and 5 from the beginning of the symptomatology, that is to say in the interval in which the manifestations are severe.


Varicella is a contagious disease that is part of the infectious diseases of childhood. It is one of the most unpleasant and severe diseases of childhood, which besides excessive itching and blisters filled with fluid that erupt on the skin (and which can leave permanent traces if they are not allowed to pass by itself), is accompanied by fever, headaches, chills, colds, etc.

The baby with chickenpox is contagious from the time the first blisters erupt on the skin and until the blisters catch the crust and begin to dry, ie in the first 5 days.

Streptococcal pharyngitis

Streptococcal pharyngitis or strep throat is a contagious infection commonly found in children. It is caused by bacteria of the same name - streptococcus - and manifests itself through severe bouts of fever, head and neck pain, nausea, inadequacy, etc.

Streptococcus spreads in the air and is transmitted from one person to another by coughing, sneezing and by the common use of various objects and toys. The baby is contagious even before the first symptoms appear. The period of contagiousness disappears 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment.


Measles is a contagious infection caused by a virus. It is also known as measles. In addition to the specific skin rash, the disease manifests with fever for a rather long period of 3-5 days.

Fever is an essential indicator for identifying the period of contagiousness of the disease. The baby begins to be contagious when fever starts, and the degree of contagiousness drops immediately after body temperature reaches normal limits. Specialists claim that a sick child of measles becomes contagious from the moment the rash begins to appear.


Pneumonia is a disease caused by viruses or bacteria, which makes it a contagious disease. The most common types of pneumonia that occur in children are viral. Both types of pneumonia - viral and bacterial - spread through sneezing and coughing. The period of contagiousness differs in each case.

In the case of the viral, the child is contagious throughout the manifestation of symptoms, but the maximum contagiousness occurs when the manifestations are severe, that is between days 3 and 5, as in the case of the cold. Bacterial pneumonia is contagious from the moment the manifestations occur. The child becomes contagious after 48 hours after antibiotic treatment.

Laryngeal croup

The body is a contagious infection caused by a virus that clings to the walls of the larynx and causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. The main symptoms are fever, difficult breathing and coughing sound, rough.

The sick laryngeal baby is contagious throughout the duration of symptoms, especially cough and fever. Even if the symptoms can be substantially improved with the help of medicines, they do not decrease the degree of contagiousness of the disease. It is important to keep the child isolated until all the symptoms disappear.

Fifth disease (parvovirus B19)

Fifth disease is a childhood disease caused by a virus that affects the cells of the immune system. The main symptoms are fever and rash, and a characteristic characteristic of this infection is the palmed (heavily blistered) aspect of the cheeks.

Unfortunately, the disease is contagious before the onset of symptoms. Preventing the spread of the virus is very difficult to achieve because the infection is transmitted before the onset of symptoms. Thus, the child can spread or contract the virus at any time, even when playing with people or children who are apparently healthy.

The incubation period of the virus lasts up to 14 days. It seems that the fifth disease is contagious even 5 days before the onset of symptoms. The child is no longer contagious from the moment the rash begins.

It is important to know when and what is the degree of contagiousness of some of the most common diseases of childhood, to know how to properly protect your child from these conditions or to prevent their spread to other family members.

Has your child suffered from any contagious disease so far? How and when did you realize that you contracted the virus or bacteria? Tell us your story in the comment section below!

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