infectivity of some common infections

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Periods of infectivity for some common infections are listed.

  • Mumps: 3 days before salivary gland swelling to 7 days after.
  • Chicken pox: a few days before the onset of rash develops and not more than six days after first lesions appear (1).
  • Measles: from the appearance of prodromal symptoms to 4 days after the onset of the rash.
  • Rubella: one week before onset of rash until 4 days after.
  • Whooping cough: one week after exposure until 3 weeks after onset of symptoms (but only 7 days if antibiotics given).
  • Scarlet fever: 10-21 days after the rash onset (but only five days if penicillin given) (2).
  • Slapped cheek disease: for up to 14 days before the onset of the rash. A child is no longer infectious once the rash has appeared.


Last edited 12/2021 and last reviewed 01/2022