How Contagious is Tonsillitis?
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.