Contagious Periods

Some Definitions:

Incubation Period: Time between exposure to the infection and beginning of symptoms.

Contagious Period: Time when a child's illness could be caught by others. Ear infections, sinus infections, urinary tract infections and pneumonia are not contagious.

Chicken Pox 14-16 2 days before rash until all sores have crusts
Fifth Disease 10-14 7 days before rash until rash begins
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease 3-6 Onset of mouth ulcers until fever is gone
Impetigo 2-5 Onset of sores until 1 day on antibiotic
Lice 7 Onset of itch until 1 treatment
Colds 2-5 Onset of runny nose until fever is gone
Flu 1-2 Onset of cough until fever is gone
Sore/Strep Throat 2-5 Onset of sore throat until 1 day on antibiotic
Meningitis 2-10 7 days before symptoms until 1 day on antibiotics in hospital
Pinkeye with Pus 2-7 Onset of pus until 1 day on antibiotic eyedrops

Adapted from Pediatric Telephone Protocols. Copyright 1998. Barton D. Schmitt, MD.