How Long Are People Contagious When They Are Sick with COVID-19?

How Long Are People Contagious When They Are Sick with COVID-19?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Hank Bernstein outlines the difference between quarantine and isolation.

Transcript is available

When someone are sick with COVID-19, how long are they contagious?

Hank Bernstein, MD: I’m Hank Bernstein, and I’m here to talk on behalf of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Vaccination Education Center. “How long are people contagious when they have COVID-19?” is a question that has been asked” Because this topic is posed so frequently, I believe we should take a step back and discuss the differences between quarantine and isolation. And what I mean is that we are frequently exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID or who is sick with COVID-19. If we are indeed infected, we must isolate ourselves. As we determine whether or not we will get COVID-19 disease, we must isolate ourselves from others. And the quarantine period can last up to 14 days in most cases. Many of the symptoms will appear on the fourth or fifth day after you’ve been exposed. Yet, because the incubation period can last up to 14 days, there is still a potential. As a result, symptoms may appear later in the second week following exposure. It, however, is not the same as isolation.

When you have COVID-19 symptoms, you are said to be isolated. Because you want to keep the symptoms to yourself when you have them. You don’t want to spread them to other people who live in your house, in your area, or who come into contact with you. As a result, you should spend at least 10 days alone. You must also be fever-free for at least 24 hours.

When someone is sick with COVID, they should be isolated, away from others, and not have a fever for at least 24 hours and at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms. Of course, if your symptoms persist and you aren’t getting better, you should see your doctor so that a decision may be made on how you should be treated.

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On March 16, 2021, this page was last reviewed