2. Viral Infection
The other way that tonsillitis can happen is when it is caused by a viral infection. One of the things that will change depending upon what kind of infection someone has is how long someone might be contagious. After the incubation period which is very short, acute infections of the tonsils that are due to a viral infection are usually contagious for about 7 to 10 days.
This does not mean that prior to the seven days the person is not contagious because the incubation period is much shorter than that. It just means that the infection period can be anywhere from seven days to ten days of the endpoint. For those with a bacterial infection, the infection time can last about two weeks after just as short of an incubation period. Viral infection also has slightly milder symptoms than a bacterial infection and is usually not accompanied by bad breath.