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A 33-year-old female asked:

Can you catch strep throat from someone if they don't have a fever yet? it was caught early & the fever hadn't developed yet. is it still contagious?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cindy Juster
Pediatrics 37 years experience
Yes: You can have strep without fever; someone with strep is contagious for about a day before symptoms start until 24-36 hours after appropriate antibiotics are started.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Yes and no: The problem providing a simple answer comes from the clinical facts.As many as 4-10% of the population may carry strep in their throat year round (without getting ill) and at any point they would test positive. There is no way to know at the point of testing if they would go on to get sick or not. If tested because they had throat pain, I would consider them as symptomatic without fever.
Dr. Visalakshi Vallury
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Possibly: There is a 2 - 5 day period after exposure and before symptoms develop when it is possible to spread the infection. You are no longer contagious after being on antibiotics for 24 hours.

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Last updated May 10, 2018


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