About 15% of adults and 37% of kids get a sore throat due to streptococcal pharyngitis which comes from group A streptococcus. When this bacterial infection takes place, the throat feels scratchy and sore. Strep throat is contagious when you get in contact with an affected object or person. The transmission of this bacterial infection can also happen during the incubation period.

Incubation Period of Strep Throat

Knowing the incubation period, contagious period and transmission methods of strep throat is the primary steps in getting to know this infection.

Incubation period

Strep throat's incubation period ranges from 1 to 5 days, differing from people to people. This is to say, people who are more vulnerable to infections may have symptoms of strep throat after one day of infection, while those who are less vulnerable can show symptoms even after five days. So, if you have come into contact with a family member, a friend or a spouse who has strep throat, you would know that you are free from the bacterial infection after 5 days.

Contagious period

Strep throat is contagious even during the incubation period and it remains this way for up to 21 days without treatment. But if the person has been treated with antibiotics for about 24 hours, then the infection won't be contagious any more. 

Transmission method:

Strep throat is transmitted during close contact with the spread of affected saliva or nasal droplets. Direct contact like sharing dishes or kissing can definitely spread this infection. Besides, the air can become contaminated when an infected person coughs, breathes and sneezes without covering their mouth. When you breathe in this air, you will get the infection. What's more, this bacterium is able to survive on lots of surfaces and objects. So it's important to always wash your hands before and after touching your nose, mouth, and certain objects to avoid spreading or contraction strep throat. 

What Symptoms Appear After Incubation Period?

Incubation period of strep throat is just the prelude of strep throat. After that, symptoms usually appear but it is still possible to experience little to no symptoms. If you do display symptoms, they could include:

  • Rash

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Overall body ache

  • Painful throat that onset quickly

  • Pain when swallowing things

  • Nausea or vomiting, particularly in kids

  • Swollen and red tonsils with or without streaks of pus or white patches

Note: Even if you have some of the said symptoms, it doesn't necessarily mean you have strep throat because some other disease can cause them too.

When to see medical help

Call a medical professional if someone infected with strep throat show signs like:

  • Painful throat and swollen tender lymph glands come together;

  • The painful throat is accompanied by rashes;

  • The pain in throat last more than 48 hours;

  • Your kid has a fever above 101°F or the fever lasts over 48 hours;

  • You have trouble in swallowing or breathing;

  • There is no improvement for 48 hour even after taking antibiotics.

How to Deal With Strep Throat

Apart from taking antibiotics that may have side effects, changing your lifestyle and some home remedies can help improve the situation. Here are some of the other effective ways to treat the condition even during the incubation period of strep throat.

Home Care

  • Gargle with warm water: Gargling warm water with salt is a great way to relieve strep throat symptoms. Do not swallow the water after gargling but instead spit it out.

  • Get enough rest: With enough sleep, you will feel better since when you strain your body, you tend to feel worse than before especially when experiencing an abnormal fever or you have a headache. Staying in bed or simply at home will help in subsidizing the severe symptoms.

  • Drink enough water: Water is life so they say. Lubricating your throat will lessen the pain even when swallowing foods or drinks.

  • Know what to eat: Make sure that you do not eat acidic or spicy foods as they might irritate the throat further. Eat cold foods, blended ones or mashed ones to avoid irritating the throat.

  • Use humidifiers: Use saline nasal sprays and a clean humidifier to add moisture to the air.

  • Stay away from irritants: Avoiding irritants such as strong perfumes, cleaning products and smoke can also help in preventing a further infection.



So now that you know about incubation period of strep throat, it is time to take the recommended antibiotics. 

  • After a positive diagnosis of strep throat, you need antibiotics to prevent the spread of this infection. After taking antibiotics for 24 hours, you are no longer contagious. Besides, antibiotics also help alleviate infectious symptoms and reduce risks of developing severe complications. 

  • Do take all the antibiotics, or complications, antibiotic resistant or even a relapse of strep throat that is worse than the initial one will happen. Some of the antibiotics that are commonly prescribed include penicillin, amoxicillin, cephalosporins and macrolides. 

  • There may be side effect, like vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, swollen tongues and lips, difficulty breathing, etc. If your symptoms do not improve after a few days, see your doctor to get another types of antibiotics or get retested.


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  • Nancy JhonDec.7 19:59
    The reason strep throat is contagious is because GAS bacteria live in your throat and nose making it easily for them to spread to other uninfected people around you. The bacteria travel through small droplets of water, which are released out when you sneeze or cough. As the droplets are sneezed out, they carry the infectious bacteria and land on any surface they find. If you touch any surface which has the bacterial droplets on them and then touch your nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, the infection then starts spreading in you. Similarly, if you share a glass or plate with the infected person or shake their hands, there is a high chance that you may become infected as well. It is best to wash your hands after such occasionsfollowing casual contacts. As mentioned earlier, the bacteria GAS is responsible for causing strep throat, but the Streptococcus class of bacteria also causes impetigo, an infection which causes red sores all over the body, rheumatic fever in addition to some more. The bacteria start growing in the throat or skin which leads to pus formation and non-inflammatory continuation of previous infection. Impetigo is contagious while rheumatic fever is not contagious however, strep throat can come before it, which certainly is contagious. At some times, if you touch skin sores caused by GAS, like impetigo, you can become infected easily. It is again recommended that you wash your hands. Sometimes you can become infected from food that contains the GAS bacteria. Although it does not happen often, strep throat is foodborne as well. That is why before pasteurization, preservation and refrigeration of food was not common, strep throat spread quite commonly. In the past, outbreaks of strep throat used to happen quite commonly due to contamination and consumption of raw milk. But now foodborne strep throat is rare so if many people complain of strep throat after eating food together in a venue, it can indicate contaminated food. When it comes to strep throat, the bacteria starts infecting by colonizing in the throat. The bacteria adheres to the dermal epithelial cells which is due to a specific bacterial surface ligand binding with receptors in the throat. The strong adherence is one of the reasons strep throat cannot be simply washed away so easily. In fact, salivary fluid and mucous passing down the throat cannot scrape the bacteria strongly adhered to the skin of the throat so they continue damaging the tissues in the throat. Previous infections are also crucial as any exposure before leads to weakening of the dermal barriers so when strep throat happens again, the bacteria are able to adhere to the host cells quite easily. Studies have also shown that at certain sites, the other bacteria are in competition with the infectious cells for adherence to the host cells. Reference: http://bit.ly/2h220pC
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