Is What I Have Contagious?

woman with cold surrounded by tissues

If you have symptoms of respiratory infection, including cough and fever, it's best to assume you are contagious, and you should stay at home, away from others.

Everything from the common cold to the flu as well as COVID-19 are contagious and can be spread from one person to another. Symptoms that should cause you to stay home instead of visiting with family and friends, or working, include:

  • Fevers higher than 100.4 degrees.
  • Recurring vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Drainage from one or both eyes.
  • Draining or moist wound.
  • A cough that is uncontrolled and cannot be covered.

If you have severe symptoms, including difficulty breathing, you should visit the Emergency Department. Call ahead to ensure health care staff can prepare for your arrival.

How to Prevent Illness

To prevent infection, you should wash your hands often and avoid touching surfaces and your face. In addition to those commonsense hygiene practices, you should also eat well, stay hydrated and get sufficient rest. These are all things that help keep your body healthy.

If you are sick, try to limit the spread of the illness by:

  • Staying home from work or school.
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wash your hands frequently (at least 20 seconds wiping both the top, bottom of hands and between the fingers)
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve and throw away any used tissues.

If you think you might have COVID-19, find out more about the symptoms and how to be tested.

Learn more about your treatment options.

Treatment Options