The first cold days have arrived and with them the risk of contracting a viral pathology. But how do you know if you are still contagious after being sick? Explanations from Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of TipsForWomens.
Flu, cold, sore throat, covid-19… The list of viral illnesses likely to affect us in winter is long. We can then ask ourselves how long we are contagious after being sick, so as not to risk transmitting our illness to a colleague at work or a loved one. Here are the explanations from Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of TipsForWomens.
How long are we contagious?
“It is difficult to give figures, because the situation can vary depending on the virus, but generally speaking, when you are affected by a viral pathology, you are considered to be contagious even before the symptoms appear. appear, on average 48 hours before” explained first Gérald Kierzek.
“And subsequently, we count five days after the appearance of symptoms to say that we are more contagious, excluding cases of secondary infection.. Superinfection occurs when you have a fever after this time, purulent greenish-yellow nasal secretions… At this time, even after the five-day period has passed, you remain partially contagious.
How to avoid contaminating those around you?
When you are affected by a virus, you can therefore be contagious for the first 48 hours, without showing any symptoms. “To avoid contaminating those around you, you apply simple rules, which are frequent hand washing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and once symptoms appear, you wear a mask in the presence of others.” advises the doctor.
The special case of cough
Sometimes, after a viral infection, the sick person continues to cough, long after the other symptoms have disappeared, sometimes for several weeks. This simply indicates inflammation of the upper airways, but does not reflect continued infection or risk to others.