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When is Covid-19 most contagious?

When are people most contagious?

Research indicates that people are most contagious in the early stages of their infection. And are most likely to pass on Covid-19 within the first five days of having symptoms. “Live” virus, capable of replicating, was found up to nine days after symptoms began.

Infected people can pass on the virus whether they develop symptoms or not.

How long after exposure will symptoms start to show?

Probably three days. That’s because research suggests the incubation period for the Omicron variant is shorter than earlier strains.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms are fever, cough, tiredness and loss of taste or smell. But more recently people are reporting a sore throat, headache, aches and pains, diarrhoea, a rash on the skin and even discolouration of fingers or toes.

When should I get tested?

You should get tested when you develop symptoms. You shouldn’t rush out to get tested at the time you think you could have been exposed to the virus. It’s highly unlikely it will be picked up then.

You need to wait two to three days before you get your PCR test. The same applies to RATS.

How long are you contagious for after testing positive?

Most people will no longer be contagious after 10 days from the onset of their symptoms. 

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