The incubation period is the time between catching an infection and symptoms appearing. Incubation periods vary, depending on the type of infection.
Infection incubation periods
The incubation periods for some infections are:
- chickenpox – 1-3 weeks
- flu – usually around 1-3 days
- whooping cough (pertussis) – between 6 and 20 days
- rotavirus – 2 days
- norovirus – 1-2 days
The infectious period isn't necessarily the same as the incubation period. With some viruses, such as chickenpox, the person may be infectious before symptoms start to show.