Incubation Periods

Incubation period is the time between acquiring a disease and its clinical manifestation.

The mnemonics here use the Derren Brown Memory Menumonic system

Diphtheria = 2-5days

  • Membrane formation in the throat
  • Can lead to severe toxaemia
  • This can damage cardiac muscle

Dippy the dinosaur knocking over a Hen and Hive (2 and 5)

Glandular Fever = 2-6weeks

  • Caused by Epstein Barr virus
  • Extremely common
  • In children can be mild
  • In adolescence & adults – typical features:
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Splenomegaly
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Jaundice

A hen trying to kiss a bee…. for weeks!


Hepatitis B = 2-6months

  • Transmitted through Blood or bodily fluid
  • By injection or mucous membrane exposure

Hen injecting a Bee for months

Mumps = 12-25days

  • Non-specific prodrome (fever, sore throat, malaise, headache)
  • Leads to parotid gland swelling
  • Usually only symptomatic treatment only is required
  • Usually resolves in 1-2weeks
  • Common serious complications are:
  • Menigoencephalitis (10% of patients with parotitis)
  • Orchitis (25% of postpubertal males with mumps, bilateral in about 15% of those effected)

Man hanging from a washing line (12) by his testicles (mumps oorchitis) trying to cut the line with a knife (25).

Pertussis (whooping cough) 7-14days

  • Highly infectious
  • Caused by Bordetella Pertussis
  • Major cause of morbidity or mortality
  • Routine childhood immunisation offers protection
  • Epidemics every 3-5years
  • Infectious from onset of catarrhal symptoms
  • Early symptoms are non-specific (dry cough/fever/Coryza)
  • Over 1-2weeks the cough becomes more severe and characteristic “whooping” on inspiration

Margie drinking Tea (7) with one hand trying to throw a toy lorry (14) through a basketball hoop.  


Chicken Pox 7-21days

A chicken Nailed to west park primary (cole) with a golf tee.


Hand Foot and Mouth 2 – 6 days

Can only hold that bee (6) and hen (3)  in your hand for a few days.

German Measles

Lorry (14) running over nails (21) layed out in shape of swashstiker (german)