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No Fever...So Not Contagious?

Unfortunately, fever & contagiousness are unrelated. Some contagious illnesses - such as the common cold - may never cause a fever, while others will take a while for a fever to show up. Viruses, with or without a fever, tend to be contagious. They can be spread in many ways - commonly, they are spread through droplets of saliva expelled while talking, coughing or sneezing. These droplets may contain virus even before one has developed a fever.

Some examples of contagious illnesses that can be spread before a fever develop include:

  • Flu: Contagious 1 day before symptoms start, until 5-7 days after
  • Strep Throat: Contagious from onset of sore throat until 24 hours after starting antibiotics (bacterial, not viral)
  • Chickenpox: Onset of rash until all sores have crusts

Even without a fever, if you’re seeing any symptoms or know there’s been close contact with someone who is sick, make sure to take the following precautions:

  • Wipe down commonly touched areas with disinfectants to kill lingering viruses.
  • Wash hands often, and wash communal hand towels in hot water.
  • Avoid sharing food and drink while anyone in your home is unwell.

Read Next: Common Incubation Periods

SOURCES
Infection Exposure Questions St. Louis Children's Hospital