How Contagious Is Strep Throat?

Updated on January 02, 2007
T.R. asks from McKinney, TX
7 answers

I found out yesterday that my 21 month old son has strep throat. Do you know how likely it will be that the rest of the family will get it? I took my son to CareNow since my pediatrician's office was closed. The Dr. said to not kiss my son, but he had already came in for a kiss that morning.. and I am NOT turning him down..haha. The Dr. also said it doesn't always cause a sore throat.. which I thought was strange because when I had it as a kid.. it KILLED me. Just curious if any of your kids brought it home and passed it on to the rest of the family.


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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for all your answers!! I will keep an eye on my other son for unusual behavior.
Thanks again!

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

Strep throat is very contagious. I had it a little over a year ago and was miserable. My 3 year old (at the time) got it a few weeks after I did. My husband and 9 year old, however, did not as they were either at school or work most of the time.

I don't think there is much you can do about anyone else getting it besides the usual hand washing, covering your mouth when coughing...etc. I know that neither one of my boys will stay in bed away from the rest of the family while sick.

My husband lost his spleen many years ago and cannot fight off strep so if any of us get it he immediately goes on antibiotics....lucky him. He has never experienced strep ever!

Take care and I hope y'all don't get sick.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I just had a very bad case of it 2 weeks ago. I was literally in bed for 5 days. I am a child care provider and none of the kids i watch had it and none of my family have gotten it so far. I read you can be a carrier of it without knowing it. My doctor also told me as soon as you start taking antibiotics you are not contagious, but if the kids I watch get it they have to be on meds for 24 hours before they can come back here.

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answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,

Some kids do NOT show any symptoms except maybe their behavior is out of character for them. I know when I have had it, I had fever, flu-like symptoms, but I just had a mom-friend tell me that her son has it and he was just cranky and so she took him in and the Pedi told her he had Strep! So, you just never know. Usually if they are on antibiotics or the meds they are given for at least 24 to 48 hours they are not contagious anymore. I would go to and check it out!

Btw, this is a great and wonderful website to get any type of medical research on anything!!

Good Luck! Your 3 year old may or may not get it. I definitely wouldn't get him around other kids unless he is fever free and been on his meds for 24 hours!

G. B.



answers from Knoxville on

My daughter's had strep a number of times and the rest of the family typically doesn't get it. However, last time she had it (just earlier this month), my son got it as well, so it's really not a guarantee...

Strep symptoms seem to be changing. I used to get strep regularly as a kid; I remember extreme pain in my throat and feeling really tired, but nothing else. Now, there are cold symptoms sometimes, sometimes fever, sometimes not; stomach pain and nausea seems to be a new common sign, too.

Your son will cease to be contagious after 24 hours on antibiotic. After 3 days, I'd recommend getting him a new toothbrush (the germs can cause re-infection). Otherwise, keep an eye on your older son for fever, headache, stomach pain and throat issues.

Hope this helps...




answers from Dallas on

nope, doesnt always cause sore throat...with my son it has caused him to have flu-like symptoms, or suddenly have to pee every 10 minutes, or just somehow.

It is contagious, though everytime my son has gotten it, none of the rest of the family has...and I am REAL prone to strep.



answers from Dallas on

It is very contagious, but that doesn't mean the rest of you will get it. My 6yr old daughter has had 6 cases of strep this year (we are heading to the ENT next week to see why), but my son hasn't gotten it at all (and they are very close). I did have him tested once just in case and it was negative. My daughter rarely gets a sore throat with strep. Mostly she gets an upset stomach. Very strange. Just keep an eye out for your son feeling any different than normal and you can get him swabbed.



answers from San Antonio on

My son came down with it a few weeks ago. He was CRANKY for about a week and then suddenly he started with a high fever and throwing up (of course on a Friday night). We took him in first thing Sat. and our doc told us he had Strep throat. He put both kids on antibiotics. He told us that Strep throat is very contagious.
Hope he's feeling better!

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