There are many different types of infections. Understanding the different stages of infection will help you understand the similarities between these different illnesses. It will also help you understand your symptoms and your contagious period. So what are the stages of infection anyway? We’ll break them down in the article below.
1- Incubation Period
The first stage is incubation. This begins when you are exposed to a pathogen. During this stage, you won’t be experiencing any symptoms. However, the pathogen is now working its way throughout the body and multiplying. This phase can last anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on the type of infection.
2- Prodromal Period
The prodromal stage begins when a person starts to notice symptoms of an infection. Symptoms begin when the infection replicates enough to produce an immune response. At this stage, the symptoms are usually mild and generalized. This is also usually the stage where a person becomes contagious.
3- Illness Period
Next, the person enters the illness phase of their infection. This is the period of infection that we all know about. During this stage the person is experiencing symptoms that are more specific to their type of infection. The person usually feels unwell and may also still be contagious. However, his or her body is working hard behind the scenes to fight the pathogen.
4- Convalescence Period
During this stage, the infection is in its decline. The person’s body has successfully fought the pathogen, either on its own or with the help of medications. Symptoms will improve as the infection dwindles within the body. However, the patient needs to protect their body during this time. Stress on the immune system can increase the chances of catching another illness.
When To See a Doctor
Of course, all infections vary in their symptoms, severity, and length. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of an infection. Regardless of the stage you are in, seeing a doctor will help you better understand and protect your health. Call Dr. Sharaf Diwan to make an appointment with an infectious disease specialist today.