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Incubation Period

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Updated June 15, 2009

Definition:

In health care, the term incubation period refers to the time between exposure to an illness and when symptoms appear.

If you are exposed to an illness, there will be a certain amount of time between when the germs enter your body until you actually start to have symptoms. Incubation periods vary depending on the illness.

Examples:
The incubation period for strep throat is about 3 days.
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