Don’t Leave Home While You’re Still Contagious
A person with COVID-19 is thought to be most contagious in the days immediately leading up to symptom onset and throughout the first several days of his or her symptoms.
But, it can take several more days for a person’s immune system to actually clear the virus from the body.
“Most studies show that by the end of 10 days of infection, your body has cleared the active virus,” says Dr. Septimus. “A person with COVID-19 is likely no longer contagious after 10 days have passed since testing positive for coronavirus, and 72 hours after resolution of his or her respiratory symptoms and fever,” Dr. Septimus explains.
When it comes to staying home long enough to ensure you’re no longer contagious, follow these guidelines:
If you had symptoms, the criteria for ending isolation include:
- 10 days have passed since your symptoms first began and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Your other COVID-19 symptoms are improving
If you were asymptomatic, the criteria for ending isolation include:
- 10 days after your positive viral test
This means that, even if your symptoms are clearing up and you’re feeling better, it’s imperative that you continue following isolation guidelines to ensure you don’t spread COVID-19 to others.
Why Give People Another Reason To Avoid Vaccination
Recent public messaging harps on the idea that people can still become infected and transmit COVID-19 after they get vaccinated. While that is a risk, it’s an extremely low risk, and not worth the negative consequence: it’s stopping people from getting vaccinated.
People are using the idea that others can spread the virus after being vaccinated to claim that the vaccine does not work and therefore should not be taken. I have spoken with people who have done just that.
Vaccine trials measure how many people get infected after vaccination. Take for example the Moderna vaccine trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine beginning in November with follow-up publications extending through February. In that trial they randomized 15,210 people to the vaccine and 15,210 people to placebo. Of those who got the placebo, 185 developed COVID-19. Therefore, 1.2% got COVID-19. Thirty of those became very ill. Of those who got the vaccine, 11 developed COVID-19. None of them got very ill. Therefore, 0.07% got COVID-19. So, the vaccine was effective: it prevented illness and it prevented serious illness.
We also know that the spread of COVID-19 is greater when patients are sicker, when they are sneezing and coughing, and have evidence of a stronger infection. Those with mild or asymptomatic disease are less likely to spread the illness. Therefore, by reducing symptoms, that vaccine reduces viral spread, though perhaps not completely.
What Can I Do To Keep My Immune System Strong
Your immune system is your body’s defense system. When a harmful invader like a cold or flu virus, or the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 gets into your body, your immune system mounts an attack. Known as an immune response, this attack is a sequence of events that involves various cells and unfolds over time.
Following general health guidelines is the best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
- Don’t smoke or vape.
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Take a multivitamin if you suspect that you may not be getting all the nutrients you need through your diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Control your stress level.
- Control your blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation .
- Get enough sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and trying not to touch your hands to your face, since harmful germs can enter through your eyes, nose, and mouth.
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Trials Focused On Infection Not On Transmission
How can it be that after conducting clinical trials that involved tens of thousands of people, there was still uncertainty about whether the three authorized COVID-19 vaccinesfrom Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnsoncould prevent or reduce transmission?
In large part, its because the clinical trials for these vaccines were primarily focused on determining whether the vaccines protected against symptomatic COVID-19 infection. And though the trials showed that the vaccines are very effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death, none were found to be 100% protective against infection, meaning that some trial participants had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, even after vaccination.
With the initial coronavirus strain, or even with the Alpha variant, the post-vaccine immune response is usually fast and potent enough that it clears out the infection quicklybefore the virus can spread far in the body or serious symptoms have a chance to develop. But because infection could technically occur, transmission was still considered a possibilityalbeit a remote one.
The Delta variant is showing every day its willingness to outsmart us, said CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, at a recent news briefing.
Why Is The Cdc Asking Fully Vaccinated People To Wear Masks Again Where And When Do I Need To Wear A Mask Now
In July 2021, the CDC advised all people vaccinated and unvaccinated to wear masks in public indoor places, in areas with substantial or high transmission of the virus. The CDC has always advised unvaccinated people to mask indoors, and also advises anyone at increased risk to wear a mask indoors, regardless of the level of community transmission. The change in guidance for people who are fully vaccinated was made amidst increasing numbers of infections and hospitalizations across the country.
One factor driving increased infections is the rise of the Delta variant, which spreads more easily than other variants. The Delta variant is now the dominant variant in the US.
We know that people who are fully vaccinated have a much smaller risk of getting sick if they are exposed the Delta variant. While they are also less likely to spread the virus, the Delta variant is more capable than the original virus of getting into cells that line the nose, mouth, and throat. Once these variants get inside the cells, they rapidly make copies of themselves, increasing what is called the viral load. Thats why people who are fully vaccinated can still carry greater amounts of the Delta variant, making it more likely that they could spread the virus to others.
To check the level of virus transmission in your area, visit the CDCs COVID Data Tracker. Areas with substantial or high transmission appear in orange or red.
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Myths And Facts About Covid
CDC has updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines with a preference for people to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine . Read CDCs media statement.
Accurate vaccine information is critical and can help stop common myths and rumors. It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information.
Below are myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccination.
Breakthrough Cases And Delta: Background
Until recently, scientists were unsure whether fully vaccinated people who became infected with COVID-19 could transmit it to others. But the CDC report released in late July made it clear that some vaccinated people can get Delta in a breakthrough infectionand may be contagious.
The CDC added that breakthrough infections occur in only a small proportion of vaccinated people and of the breakthrough infections, transmission by the vaccinated appears to only be a small part of overall spread of the virus. But the CDC says it does not yet have data on the likelihood of asymptomatic spread among vaccinated people.
So, where does that leave us?
What we do know, says Dr. Meyer, is that there is less circulating virus in the community as a result of vaccination. When we look at vaccinations compared to cases on a population levelwe see that as the number of people vaccinated rises, the number of cases decreases, she says. This is likely due to the fact that people who are vaccinated are not becoming infected as often, but also that they are not forward-transmitting the virus as often.
But more research is needed. The CDC says that “studies are underway to understand the level and duration of transmissibility from Delta vaccine breakthrough infections.”
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Heres Why Vaccinated People Still Need To Wear A Mask
The new vaccines will probably prevent you from getting sick with Covid. No one knows yet whether they will keep you from spreading the virus to others but that information is coming.
- Read in app
Thats because the Pfizer and Moderna trials tracked only how many vaccinated people became sick with Covid-19. That leaves open the possibility that some vaccinated people get infected without developing symptoms, and could then silently transmit the virus especially if they come in close contact with others or stop wearing masks.
If vaccinated people are silent spreaders of the virus, they may keep it circulating in their communities, putting unvaccinated people at risk.
A lot of people are thinking that once they get vaccinated, theyre not going to have to wear masks anymore, said Michal Tal, an immunologist at Stanford University. Its really going to be critical for them to know if they have to keep wearing masks, because they could still be contagious.
The coronavirus vaccines, in contrast, are injected deep into the muscles and stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. This appears to be enough protection to keep the vaccinated person from getting ill.
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How Could Contact Tracing Help Slow The Spread Of Covid
Anyone who comes into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 is at increased risk of becoming infected themselves, and of potentially infecting others. Contact tracing can help prevent further transmission of the virus by quickly identifying and informing people who may be infected and contagious, so they can take steps to not infect others.
Contact tracing begins with identifying everyone that a person recently diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in contact with since they became contagious. In the case of COVID-19, a person may be contagious 48 to 72 hours before they started to experience symptoms.
The contacts are notified about their exposure. They may be told what symptoms to look out for, advised on when to get tested for the virus, whether and for how long to isolate themselves, and to seek medical attention as needed if they start to experience symptoms.
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Its Still Good To Be Cautious
While this is encouraging news, Dr. Cardona stresses that fully vaccinated people still need to be careful as everything opens up again.
Virus transmission may still occur from those who are infected and asymptomatic, or ill without knowing it, especially in crowded areas with a lack of physical distancing, respiratory precautions and hand washing. Other factors to consider are ongoing community transmission and immunization rates.
If you havent been vaccinated or havent completed the vaccination series, she recommends doing so. And if you have a unique circumstance that delays your ability to complete your series of shots as scheduled, still get the second dose. Dr. Cardona says restarting the series isnt necessary.
The CDC also recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public for maximum protection from the delta variant and to lessen the risks of transmission. You should also wear a mask if you have a weakened immune system, an underlying medical condition or are at high risk for severe disease.
Ukrainian Tennis Star Pledges To Donate Prize Money To Her Country’s Army
Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina defeated Russia’s Anastasia Potapova at the Monterrey Open on Tuesday, pledging afterward to donate her prize money to the Ukrainian army.
After her win at the opening-round match in Monterrey, Mexico, Svitolina put her hand on her heart and waved to the crowd.
I was on a mission for my country, Svitolina said in an on-court interview of her performance, which drew a roar from the crowd.
She added that this was a very special match for me and moment here … Im in a very sad mood, but Im happy that Im playing tennis here.”
Svitolina, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, wore blue and yellow — the colors of the Ukrainian flag — on the court.
She had earlier refused to play Russian athletes. On Monday, she wrote in a social media post that she would not play any Russian or Belarusian players, and would forego today’s match unless tennis organizations took action.
On Tuesday, the Association of Tennis Professionals, Womens Tennis Association and International Tennis Federation released a joint statement announcing players from Russia and Belarus would be allowed to continue competing — but only as neutral athletes, instead of under the flag of either country.
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Myth: Receiving A Covid
FACT: Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm.
COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals.
Learn more about the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccinations authorized for use in the United States.
Will A Pneumococcal Vaccine Help Protect Me Against Coronavirus
Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Hemophilus influenza type B vaccine, only help protect people from these specific bacterial infections. They do not protect against any coronavirus pneumonia, including pneumonia that may be part of COVID-19. However, even though these vaccines do not specifically protect against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, they are highly recommended to protect against other respiratory illnesses.
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Does Vitamin D Protect Against Covid
There is no evidence that taking high-dose vitamin D protects you against getting infected with this coronavirus. In addition, if you are infected, it does not prevent a more severe illness.
However, most studies looking at people at people hospitalized with COVID-19 found that having an abnormally low vitamin D blood level was associated with a worse outcome, including death, compared to patients with a normal blood level. These studies are observational only, meaning they only show a link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of severe illness. This does not mean that the low level caused the worse outcome.
The best advice regarding COVID-19 is similar to what is recommended to maintain bone health making sure you get enough vitamin D to meet standard requirements.
Our bodies make vitamin D when exposed to sunshine. Five to 10 minutes of sun exposure on some or most days of the week to the arms, legs, or back without sunscreen will enable you to make enough of the vitamin. Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish , foods fortified with vitamin D , cheese, and egg yolks.
The recommended dietary dose of vitamin D is 600 IU each day for adults 70 and younger, and 800 IU each day for adults over 70. For adults, the risk of harmful effects increases above 4,000 IU per day.
Do I Still Need To Quarantine When I Arrive In Australia If I’ve Been Vaccinated Overseas
You may be eligible for reduced quarantine requirements when you return to Australia. States and territories are responsible for managing quarantine requirements for people entering from overseas. To learn which quarantine requirements apply to you, visit the website of the government of the state or territory you wish to enter.
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I Received A Primary Vaccination And A Booster Should I Be Worried About Any Of The Emerging Variants
While the number of omicron variant infections continues to climb and breakthrough infections can occur in vaccinated people, your best protection against severe illness is still to get vaccinated and receive a booster when eligible. The emergence of the omicron variant is one of the reasons the CDC has recommended that everyone age 12 and older receive a booster.
Even if you get a booster shot, we strongly encourage you to take steps to stay safe. In general, you do not need to wear a mask when outdoors but should consider wearing one in outdoor settings where you are in close contact with people who may not be fully vaccinated. For indoor public spaces, especially in areas of substantial or high transmission, please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice physical distancing.
Protecting yourself also protects the community and the people around you, especially those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. These precautions also protect people who cant get vaccinated, including people with weakened immune systems from things like chemotherapy for cancer.
Can I Travel Overseas Once Vaccinated
Australian citizens and permanent residents aged 12 and over who are considered fully vaccinated can leave Australia without needing an outwards travel exemption.
However, Australian citizens and permanent residents who arent considered as fully vaccinated and who wish to travel overseas must apply for an exemption to leave Australia.
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Covid Natural Immunity: What You Need To Know
If you had COVID-19, you may wonder if you now have natural immunity to the coronavirus. And if so, how does that compare to protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccinations?
Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention, and Gabor Kelen, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, help you understand natural immunity and why getting a coronavirus vaccine is recommended, even if youve already had COVID-19.