How Do Antibiotics Stop Contagion Within 24 Hours?

Learn how antibiotic treatment stops contagion within 24 hours, bacterial eradication, and the impact on antibiotic resistance.

How Do Antibiotics Stop Contagion Within 24 Hours?
Photo by CDC / Unsplash

I recently received a 10-day Augmentin prescription for strep throat and was surprised when the doctor claimed I wouldn't be contagious after just 24 hours on the antibiotic. But how can it work so fast?

Rapid Bacterial Reduction

The 24-hour non-contagious advice stems from the rapid reduction of bacteria once antibiotic treatment begins. Within the initial day, a significant portion of the bacteria dies off, decreasing the potential for spreading the infection.

Immune System's Role

While antibiotics initiate the process, other individuals' immune systems often handle the remaining bacteria, further diminishing the contagion risk after the initial 24 hours.

Completing the Course for Eradication

Despite reduced contagion, it's critical to complete the full 10-day antibiotic course. This duration ensures eradication of any remaining, potentially resistant bacteria.

The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

The 10-day antibiotic treatment is essential to eliminate resilient bacteria, minimizing the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant strains, associated with emerging global health concerns.