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How many hours into cold or flu can we infect others? Is it safe to say that after 48 hrs, we don't have to worry?

This is an unusual cold/flu that puts you in bed for the first 2 days, and then your energy is zapped! I don't want to give it to my grandchild! How long do i need to wait?
Is it possible for family members to keep passing it back & forth to each other for weeks?
Related Topics: Flu, Coldness

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Primary Care
6,467 Answers
75,493 Helpful Votes

Sometimes, the "flu" really isn't the flu (influenza) at all, but rather a nasty virus. Viruses do tend to contagious a day before you were sick, and about two days later, but to count it down to the hour may be iffy. Viruses don't have watches, so it would may be possible to still pass it on for another day or so. Either way, you may end up getting blamed.

I don't know the age of your grandchild, but many over the age of six months have received a flu vaccination already, and those under six months may still have protection from maternal immunity, especially if the baby is breast fed.

Family members do not pass one virus back and forth to each other like a ping-pong ball, but they certainly can share any of the 200 or so known to cause respiratory illness, like colds.

Basically, your grandchild needs to toughen up a bit, so what better way to do this would be a lot of grandparent kisses. After 48 hours, I would say....take a chance, if the parents are agreeable.  There are some things that we cannot avoid, and that would be viral illnesses. If you don't expose them, someone else will.

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