How long is mouth rot contagious?
In the case of mouth rot, one speaks of an approximate incubation period of four to six days. After that a general feeling of illness occurs and after another 2 days the typical changes in the oral mucosa usually occur. These last for about 5 days and there is a steady improvement of the general condition.
After one to two weeks you feel fit again. This means that the body has to deal with the virus for two to three weeks. In this time window the infected person excretes the virus, i.e. roughly one can speak of a two-week infection period.
Mouth rot is so contagious for toddlers and babies
Mouth rot occurs mainly in children between the ages of 7 months and 6 years. Before the 7th month of life the babies usually still have antibodies, i.e. defence cells, against the virus, which they take up through the mother’s milk. As this protection is lost after breastfeeding and the infection occurs quickly and frequently, most people fall ill with mouth rot in childhood.
Afterwards they have their own antibodies and only in very rare cases does the disease reappear. In adulthood it therefore occurs only very rarely. If the child’s immune system is weakened, especially after measles, scarlet fever and whooping cough, there is an increased risk of developing mouth rot. Then the disease can take a more dramatic course than usual (meningitis). Finger or thumb sucking should also be avoided during acute mouth rot, as the virus can also spread on the finger.
Mouth rot is so contagious for siblings
In order to answer this question, it is first necessary to understand that the antibodies of the mother are only passed on to the child through the mother’s milk for a short time. Antibodies cannot be inherited in the sense that once a parent has contracted oral thrush and produced antibodies, the information is passed on to the child. Thus, each child must be seen as a separate organism, which must have dealt with the virus once in order to be immune to it later.
Siblings can therefore infect each other. Especially at the age at which children are particularly prone to oral thrush, i.e. between 7 months and 6 years, siblings still often play intensively with each other and the danger of infecting each other is thus increased when “fighting” each other. These articles may also be of interest to you:
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How dangerous is oral thrush for pregnant women?
Pregnant women do not need to worry at first if they suffer from mouth rot. The unborn child usually does not come into contact with the viruses that are secreted from the mouth. However, there are exceptions where caution is required.
If there is severe viremia, i.e. if there are many virus cells in the blood, the virus can in rare cases penetrate the placenta and spread into the child’s bloodstream. However, this happens only very rarely. Since oral thrush is the initial infection with the herpes virus, the mother cannot protect her child sufficiently with her own antibodies.
She still has to produce them herself. If the mother falls ill with oral thrush shortly before birth, it goes without saying that direct contact at birth should be avoided. If you yourself suffer from mouth rot, you should not kiss the newborn baby or touch the baby with your hands first and then touch the baby.
However, the most common infection of the newborn by the mother is genital herpes. This is caused by the same virus as mouth rot and is a real obstacle in the birth canal in the genital region. A caesarean section is appropriate here.