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Is Your Baby Contagious?

You do your best impression of Edvard Munch's The Scream whenever a sneezy, snotty tot approaches your babe. Not another cold! you think. But there's probably no need to worry -- even if the sick kid manages to smear mucus all over your boy's toy truck. Most common viral infections (colds, flu, croup, and coxsackie) are contagious only for as long as your baby has a fever, usually the first two or three days, according to Ari Brown, M.D., coauthor of Baby 411. "A fever is a sign that your baby is fighting an active infection," she says. "The runny nose that lasts for a week or so afterward is the remnant of that battle." There are some exceptions, however:

Illness: Conjunctivitis
Contagious?: Until his eyes stop producing discharge

Illness: Chicken Pox
Contagious?: Until all the lesions are crusted over

Illness: Stomach Virus
Contagious? Until normal poop is formed

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