Tenafly Pediatrics

Infection Exposure Questions

Definition:

  • This guideline includes information about the transmission of common infections
  • Incubation Period: Time interval between exposure to the infection and onset of symptoms
  • Contagious Period: Time interval during which a sick child’s disease is contagious to others. With precautions, children sometimes can return to day care and school before this period is over
  • Infections that are not Contagious: Many common bacterial infections are not contagious (eg otitis media, sinusitis, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, and bacteremia). Sexually-transmitted diseases are not contagious to children unless there is sexual contact or shared bathing

Skin Infections/Rashes:

DISEASEINCUBATION PERIOD (DAYS)CONTAGIOUS PERIOD (DAYS)
Chickenpox10-212 days before rash until all sores have crusts – (6-7 days)
Fifth disease (Erythema infectiosum)4-14 7 days before rash until rash begins
Hand, foot, and mouth disease3-6Onset of mouth ulcers until fever gone
Impetigo (strep or staph)2-5Onset of sores until 24 hours on antibiotic
Lice7Onset of itch until 1 treatment
Measles8-124 days before rash until rash gone (7 days)
Roseola9-10Onset of fever until rash gone (2 days
Rubella (German measles)14-217 days before rash until rash gone (4 days)
Scabies30-45Onset of rash until 1 treatment
Scarlet fever3-6Onset of fever or rash until 24 hours on antibiotic
Shingles (contagious for chicken pox)14-16Onset of rash until all sores have crusts (7 days) (Note: No need to isolate if sores can be kept covered.)
Warts30-180 Minimally contagious

Respiratory Infections:

DISEASEINCUBATION PERIOD (DAYS)CONTAGIOUS PERIOD (DAYS)
Bronchiolitis4-6Onset of cough until 7 days
Colds2-5Onset of runny nose until fever gone
Cold sores (herpes)2-12*Footnote 1
Coughs (viral) or croup (viral)2-5Onset of cough until fever gone
Diphtheria2-5Onset of sore throat until 4 days on antibiotic
Influenza1-2Onset of cough until fever gone
Sore throat, strep2-5Onset of sore throat until 24 hours on antibiotic
Sore throat, viral2-5Onset of sore throat until fever gone
Tuberculosis6-24 monthsUntil 2 weeks on drugs (Note: Most childhood TB is not contagious.)
Whooping cough7-10 Onset of runny nose until 5 days on antibiotic
*see footnote 1 at bottom of the page  

Intestinal Infections:

DISEASEINCUBATION PERIOD (DAYS)CONTAGIOUS PERIOD (DAYS)
Diarrhea, bacterial1-5*Footnote 2 for Diarrhea Precautions
Diarrhea, giardia7-28*Footnote 2 for Diarrhea Precautions
Diarrhea, traveler’s1-6*Footnote 2 for Diarrhea Precautions
Diarrhea, viral (Rotavirus)1-3*Footnote 2 for Diarrhea Precautions
Hepatitis A14-502 weeks before jaundice begins until jaundice resolved (7 days)
Hepatitis B50-1802 weeks before jaundice begins until jaundice resolved (7 days)
Pinworms21-28Minimally contagious, staying home is unnecessary
Vomiting, viral2-5Until vomiting stops

Other Infections:

DISEASEINCUBATION PERIOD (DAYS)CONTAGIOUS PERIOD (DAYS)
Infectious mononucleosis30-50Onset of fever until fever gone (7 days)
Meningitis, bacterial 2-10 7 days before symptoms until 24 hours on IV antibiotics in hospital
Mumps12-255 days before swelling until swelling gone (7 days)
Pinkeye without pus (viral) 1-5Mild infection, staying home is unnecessary
Pinkeye with pus (bacterial)2-7Onset of pus until 1 day on antibiotic eyedrops

*Footnotes:

  1. Cold sores: younger than 6 years, contagious until cold sores are dry, 4-5 days. (No isolation if sores are on part of body that can be covered.) More than 6 years old, no isolation necessary if beyond touching, picking stage.
  2. Diarrhea Precautions: Contagious until stools are formed. Stay home until fever is gone, diarrhea is mild, blood and mucus are gone, and toilet-trained child has control over loose BMs. Shigella and E-coli 0157 require extra precautions.