How Contagious is Tonsillitis?

Updated on 17 Dec 2010,
Published on 26 Jan 2009

Tonsillitis is the disease which occurs more commonly among children. It is the inflammation of the tonsils and is either caused due to viral or bacterial infection. The viruses that cause common cold are responsible for causing tonsillitis. The fleshy part at the back of the throat is called the tonsils.

When it is inflamed, the tonsils become enlarged, red and are often coated with a yellow, gray or white substance. Some of the very common symptoms that are usually noticed in children suffering from the infection are sore throat, swollen glands, fever, difficulty in swallowing, etc.

Irrespective of whether the inflammation is caused by virus or bacteria, tonsillitis is contagious. It is often spread by coming in contact with the nasal or throat fluids of someone who is already infected. So it is very important on the part of the parents to keep the glasses, plates and other utensils of the infected child separately or else it can spread to other children as well.

It is very important to take special precautionary measures in order to prevent the disease from spreading. All the family members must wash their hands as frequently as possible, especially parents taking care of the sick child and who have other younger children to take care of. Also when the child recovers, make sure that you throw away the old toothbrush and replace it with a new one.

Those infected by streptococcus are found to have been suffering from special problems. It has been estimated that in a family where a member have already suffered from strep, one out of four members of the family is more likely to get it. It was also found that about 15-20% of school children could be carriers of strep without showing any symptoms.

Tonsillitis can be treated with an antibiotic if it is caused by bacteria. It usually lasts for a week or so. However, for the tonsils to return to its normal size, it will take a couple of weeks. If the inflammation is caused by virus, then the length of recovery depends on the type of virus that has caused the inflammation. Though in most cases, it takes about a week or so to completely recover from tonsillitis.

Suggested Reading:

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13 Response(s)
sia
Yea tonsils can get real troublesome at times. Sad but this is the truth!
jack
Tonsillitis is pretty contagious. Especially the germ that causes it spreads it from person to person much like mono I guess.
kelly
Is tonsillitis contagious even after taking antibiotics?
rookie
Damn tonsillitis!! It had put me off school a couple of times = (.
Rosey Joseph
The thought of tonsillitis is spine chilling!!! No one ever wants to have it
Rachel
I believe it's contagious for up to 24 hours after beginning the antibiotics, though you should still be cautious after that, not sharing drinks and whatnot.
sierra
I have tonsillitis and ive been running a fever for a week now the doctor told me as long as your running a fever your contagious
John
I got tonsillitis from giving oral to a girlfriend who had bacterial vaginosis (unbalanced ph) not anything gross - but overnight my lymph nodes tripled in size. no fun at all! Watch out guys! And, ladies, warn your men if somethings not right down there, save your relationship some trouble! good luck everyone
Anon
Thanks for sharing that story with us John. LOL ...but seriously it is a pain, I have it and its awful.
Andrea
So I just found out I have tonsillitis. And last night I gave my boyfriend oral. Could anything bad happen to him? I mean other than him getting it from me kissing him
John
Yeh he will have penulittus
deanie
damn it hurts...
sharl
hahaha john that made me laugh. thanks for the advice, although i think if "somethings nit right down there" my man wouldnt be going near it at all. ewwwwww lol!
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