During which stage of infection is the patient most contagious?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Mr. Hayley Gulgowski I
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Researchers estimate that people who get infected with the coronavirus can spread it to others 2 to 3 days before symptoms start and are most contagious 1 to 2 days before they feel sick.

What is the incubation period of COVID-19?

Based on existing literature, the incubation period (the time from exposure to development of symptoms) of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses (e.g., MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV) ranges from 2–14 days.

How long do symptoms take to show?

Symptoms may develop 2 days to 2 weeks following exposure to the virus. A pooled analysis of 181 confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside Wuhan, China, found the mean incubation period to be 5.1 days and that 97.5% of individuals who developed symptoms did so within 11.5 days of infection.

How long after exposure you may show symtopms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If you have fever, cough, or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19.

Can the coronavirus disease spread from person to person?

Coronavirus disease is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It is also possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

COVID-19 Update 18: When are patients really infectious?

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How does COVID-19 mainly spread?

Spread of COVID-19 occurs via airborne particles and droplets. People who are infected with COVID can release particles and droplets of respiratory fluids that contain the SARS CoV-2 virus into the air when they exhale (e.g., quiet breathing, speaking, singing, exercise, coughing, sneezing).

How long can COVID-19 linger in the air?

The smallest very fine droplets, and aerosol particles formed when these fine droplets rapidly dry, are small enough that they can remain suspended in the air for minutes to hours.

Should I get tested after a close contact with someone who has COVID-19 if I am fully vaccinated?

• If you've had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don't have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative.

What should you do if you have been around a person with COVID-19?

For Anyone Who Has Been Around a Person with COVID-19

Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person.

How long do you stay contagious after testing positive for COVID-19?

If someone is asymptomatic or their symptoms go away, it's possible to remain contagious for at least 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. People who are hospitalized with severe disease and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for 20 days or longer.

What are some of the common symptoms of the COVID-19 disease?

Symptoms may include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle and body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

How long do you need to stay home after coming into close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person.

When can I be with others if I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms?

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19.

Who is considered a close contact of someone with COVID-19?

For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, if they are asymptomatic, 2 days before their specimen that tested positive was collected), until they meet the criteria for discontinuing home isolation.

Who should get tested for COVID-19 after exposure?

Most people who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.

Should I quarantine if I had been in contact with someone with COVID-19?

Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person.

When should you get tested for COVID-19 after contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient if fully vaccinated?

However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don't have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Do I need to quarantine after testing negative for the coronavirus disease?

You should stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.

What should vaccinated people do if they come in contact with someone who has COVID-19?

Fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days following the date of their exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. They should isolate if they test positive.

How long can COVID-19 survive on surfaces?

Data from surface survival studies indicate that a 99% reduction in infectious SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses can be expected under typical indoor environmental conditions within 3 days (72 hours) on common non-porous surfaces like stainless steel, plastic, and glass .

Can COVID-19 spread through the air?

Research shows that the virus can live in the air for up to 3 hours. It can get into your lungs if someone who has it breathes out and you breathe that air in. Experts are divided on how often the virus spreads through the airborne route and how much it contributes to the pandemic.

Can the coronavirus disease spread faster in an air-conditioned house?

Waleed Javaid, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, says it is possible, but not likely.

If someone in the house who is infected with the virus is coughing and sneezing and not being careful, then tiny virus particles in respiratory droplets could be circulated in the air. Anything that moves air currents around the room can spread these droplets, whether it is an air conditioning system, a window-mounted AC unit, a forced heating system, or even a fan, according to Dr. Javaid.

Are recovered persons with persistent positive test of COVID-19 infectious to others?

Persons who have tested persistently or recurrently positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA have, in some cases, had their signs and symptoms of COVID-19 improve. When viral isolation in tissue culture has been attempted in such persons in South Korea and the United States, live virus has not been isolated. There is no evidence to date that clinically recovered persons with persistent or recurrent detection of viral RNA have transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to others.

Despite these observations, it’s not possible to conclude that all persons with persistent or recurrent detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA are no longer infectious. There is no firm evidence that the antibodies that develop in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection are protective. If these antibodies are protective, it’s not known what antibody levels are needed to protect against reinfection.

Can you get the COVID-19 from someone who has no symptoms?

Both flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by people before they begin showing symptoms; by people with very mild symptoms; and by people who never experience symptoms (asymptomatic people).

What should I do if my child was identified as a close contact and is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19?

• You should follow quarantine guidance provided by your school. CDC recommends a 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated close contacts before returning to normal activities, including in-person school and school activities. This is because your child can become infected with COVID-19 but may not develop the infection for up to 14 days. In fact, some data show that a person may spread COVID-19 before they show symptoms or even without symptoms.

• If your child develops symptoms at any point during quarantine, they need to get tested and isolate immediately. Be sure to notify your school if this happens and reach out to your healthcare provider.