When Are You Most Contagious?

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You’re sick and feeling cruddy. To avoid sharing the misery with those around you, follow general guidelines for healthy adults from family medicine physician Matthew J. Goldman, MD:

When to see the doctor and other tips

“Speak to your medical provider about your risk and how long to stay home,” advises Dr. Goldman. “It will vary based on your immune response, age, prior exposure, underlying illness, exposure to smoke, and virus type.”

Here, he shares a few pointers on contagious illnesses:

How to protect the vulnerable

When you’re ill, it’s wise to avoid people with weaker immune systems. “Before you visit someone in the hospital or a nursing facility, check with their provider, wear a mask and wash your hands,” says Dr. Goldman.

Are you a new parent or grandparent? Protect your newborn from dangerous whooping cough by getting your TdAP vaccine.

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