If you or someone you know is already showing signs of strep throat, it’s time to be more careful and protect yourself thoroughly. Strep throat is very contagious, and close contact with potential strep throat patients could set you up for different complications and health risks.1
Strep throat cases are prominent during the late fall or early spring, although you can be diagnosed with the disease any time during the year.2
Places where people are most likely to be infected with strep throat-causing bacteria include schools, military barracks, day care centers, and offices.3 Even your household is not spared from the threat of strep throat.
Dr. Jennifer Shu, in her column for CNN’s The Chart, says that strep throat is most contagious starting a few days before symptoms show up, and that there is a 25 percent chance that a person infected with strep throat can spread the disease to other members of the household.”4
A sneeze or cough can easily make you susceptible to strep throat, since the bacteria can be transmitted via the saliva, nasal secretions, or even the breath of an infected individual.5,6
Touching doorknobs and faucet handles that contain traces of saliva or nasal secretions can make you more prone to strep throat too, since the group A strep bacteria can transfer to and reside in these surfaces for a certain amount of time.7
You also increase your risk of strep throat if you share eating utensils, glasses, plates, or bowls with other people, especially those who may already be infected with or are showing signs of the disease.8,9 Napkins, handkerchiefs, towels, or even bedding are also potential carriers of harmful strep bacteria.10