Thrush is a type of yeast infection that is caused by a bacteria called Candida. Many people have yeast on various parts of their bodies such as their mouth and digestive track, but it usually poses no problem due to normal bacterial that helps keep the yeast from growing out of control. The onset of an infection caused by the yeast usually spawns from an illness, medication or even stress. Candida can also cause an infection known as oral thrush. This type of yeast can also cause diaper rash in babies and vaginal yeast infections in women.
The most common type of thrush is found in newborns and in infants. This is because their immune system has not fully developed to ward off infections. A common question people ask is if thrush is contagious. In short, the answer is yes. Thrush is contagious. If yeast is present in a mothers vagina during birth, the baby comes in contact with the yeast, and can possibly develop thrush. Newborns can also get it if they come in close contact with other family members with it.
Because thrush is contagious, it is important to know the signs of thrush. Oral thrush appears as white, creamy and curd like patches on the tongue, sides of the mouth, gums, and also on the back of the throat or tonsils. It can also be painful to the touch by having stinging or burning sensations. Thrush is commonly seen in infants, but because thrush is contagious it can occur at any age. It can result from smoking, coming in contact with infected items, taking antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, a weakened immune system caused by HIV/AIDS, cancer diabetes, etc.
It is important to diagnose thrush. Doctors diagnose it by looking at the patches or examining a sample of it under a microscope. In mild cases, it can be treated by delicately removing the yeast from the mouth with a cotton swab. If that does not work, an antibiotic may be prescribed. If a mother is breastfeeding a baby with oral thrush, antibiotics may be prescribed for both because of the contagiousness of thrush. If not, you may pass the infection back and forth to one another.
To help prevent the spread of thrush it is essential to be careful when changing diapers so not to transfer the thrush from the mouth to the diaper area or vise versa. You should always follow good personal body hygiene which includes but not limited to hand washing and proper disposal of oral secretions. If your child has thrush, your child’s childcare worker should be notified so extra precautions can be taken to sterilize the children’s toys. If you are pregnant and develop a yeast infection, it should be treated as soon as possible so thrush is not transferred to the baby. With proper precautions a contagious bacteria such as thrush can be controlled.