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Is Pharyngitis Contagious?

If you or someone you know has pharyngitis, then you may be concerned about transmission. A sore throat is not only painful but also disruptive in other ways: it prevents you sleeping for instance and can make it difficult to concentrate on work or enjoy relaxing activities.

The good news though, is that pharyngitis is not contagious and can’t be ‘caught’ by your friends and family. Although, there are some caveats to that rule…

Why Pharyngitis Can’t be Transmitted

The reason you can’t ‘catch’ pharyngitis is that it isn’t actually a disease in itself. Rather, pharyngitis is simply a term for a sore throat. Here, the pharyngitis is not the condition but rather the result of a cold, a flu or another infection.

This means that although pharyngitis itself cannot be caught by others, the infection that led to it can. If you have pharyngitis then you could spread a cold or flu around your family or work colleagues, resulting in them having the same symptoms.

Relevant here though, is to remember that a sore throat will often persist long after the infection itself has subsided or is no longer infectious. Colds and flus are most contagious when the symptoms of that illness are at their worst. Prior to that, they will be in an ‘incubation’ period. Following that, you might just be reeling from the effects of the cold rather than fighting the illness itself.

How to Prevent Spreading a Cold

There are a few things you can do to prevent spreading a cold. The first and most important is to use a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Likewise, make sure to wash your hands regularly if you put them near your face and to avoid sharing drinks or food. And if the symptoms are severe, then don’t go into work! In the long run, this is much better for the company.





Dr. Janice Rachael Mae

Copyrighted material; do not reprint without permission. 

View all articles by Dr. Janice Rachael Mae

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