What is the prodromal period

The prodromal period of the disease is one of the periods of the development of an infectious-inflammatory disease, the so-called “precursor period”.

This phase of the disease begins immediately after the latent period and continues until the beginning of the developed period of the infectious disease.

prodromal period

In some cases, this phase of the disease may be absent, and then the symptoms appear immediately after the latent period. This scenario indicates a more severe course of the disease.


As a rule, the average duration of the prodromal period of the disease ranges from one to three days. However, the duration of this stage of an infectious disease may vary depending on the following circumstances:

  • properties of the infectious agent itself;
  • the initial state of the patient's body (weakened, depleted patients suffer such effects more severely);
  • the state of the body's immune system;
  • history of vaccination against diseases caused by this infectious agent;
  • against the background of the unfolded symptoms of another, already developed infectious disease, the prodromal period may pass unnoticed.

Due to such a large number of factors that can affect the duration of this phase of the disease, the designation of its duration and boundaries is very conditional.

Manifestations of the prodromal period

There are no specific clinical symptoms of the prodromal period. At this stage, there are no specific signs inherent in the infectious disease that caused discomfort.

symptoms of prodromal period

Among the complaints of patients at this stage of the disease, the following are prominent (the so-called prodromal phenomena):

  • not a pronounced weakness;
  • increased fatigue;
  • headache: is expressed, as a rule, not strongly, does not have a clear localization, often spilled, may have an incoming character;
  • soreness, aching joints and muscles - constant or incoming character;
  • feeling chill;
  • increase in body temperature: the numbers, as a rule, are not high, however, the subfebrile temperature during this period significantly worsens the patient's subjective well-being;

prodromal period of the disease

  • appetite disturbance;
  • gastralgia;
  • dyspeptic symptoms in the form of nausea, vomiting;
  • drowsiness, or vice versa, deterioration of sleep;
  • reduced emotional background;
  • may occur in clinical analyzes.

The presence of at least a few signs from this list in combination with factors predisposing to the disease (for example, hypothermia or contact with an infectious patient) suggests that the deterioration of health and general condition is associated with the onset of the prodromal period.

What happens in the body

At this time, the pathogen, circulating and multiplying in the body, has already managed to cause the first, non-specific reaction of the immune system.

In some infectious diseases, it is the prodromal period that is the most infectious.

prodromal period of illness

What can be done

  • Having found signs of prodromal phenomena in oneself or one of the people around, it is necessary to limit the contacts of the sick person with healthy people - this will help minimize the likelihood of infection spreading.
  • If necessary, symptomatic therapy can be used to improve the patient's well-being; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are suitable for this: drugs in this group relieve headaches, reduce aching joints,They have an anti-inflammatory effect and help control hyperthermia.
  • For a speedy diagnosis and selection of specific treatment, it is necessary to consult a doctor. The sooner treatment is started, the greater the likelihood that the infection will not be able to turn around in full force.

Prodromal phase of noncommunicable diseases

The prodromal period is distinguished not only in the structure of the infectious pathology.

There is a precursor period for noncommunicable diseases. This phenomenon has not been studied well enough today, especially in cases where the precursors are subjective.

  • Extraneous sensations, the so-called aura during migraine immediately before the attack.
  • Precursors in the form of euphoria, hallucinations, aphasia or photophobia before epileptic paroxysm in epilepsy; Some patients by these signs learn about the approaching seizure and manage to take a relatively safe position.
  • Some time before the onset of symptoms of acute leukemia, the cellular composition of the bone marrow changes, in which blood cells are formed.
  • Increased intensity and frequency of strokes in anticipation of myocardial infarction.
  • The prodromal phase of schizophrenia: the signs are of the nature of slight cognitive changes, which may be non-permanent in nature and relate to a decrease in concentration and memory, the productivity of the thinking process decreases; this makes it difficult to diagnose at the prodrome stage, since such changes can be attributed to fatigue or overwork.

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