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Four Stages of Infection

  1. Incubation Period

    1. Time between entrance of pathogen and first symptoms

    2. Examples:

      1. Mumps incubate in 18 days

      2. Chicken pox incubate in 2 to 3 weeks

  2. Prodromal Stage

    1. Time from onset of nonspecific findings (such as fatigue, malaise) to more specific findings.

    2. The pathogen is multiplying.

    3. The host is most contagious.

  3. Illness Stage

    1. When a client exhibits the specific findings of a disease

    2. Examples:

      1. The parotid gland swelling of mumps

      2. The sore throat of a cold

  4. Convalescence - when the acute findings begin to disappear