The Us And Europe Struggle To Identify Where Coronavirus Infections Are Occurring Making It Hard To Impose Targeted Restrictions
Western nations face a big challenge in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic: Ten months into the health crisis, they still know little about where people are catching the virus.
The problem is becoming more acute as new cases are breaking records in the U.S. and Europe and pressure grows on authorities to impose targeted restrictions on places that are spreading the virus, rather than broad confinement measures that are wreaking havoc on the economy.
In Germany, authorities say they don’t know where 75% of people who currently test positive for the coronavirus got it. In Austria, the figure stands at 77%. In Spain, the health ministry said that it was able to identify the origin of only 7% of infections registered in the last week of October. In France and Italy, only some 20% of new cases have been linked to people who previously tested positive.
Jay Varma, senior adviser for public health in the New York City mayor’s office, said 10% of the city’s infections are due to travel, 5% from gatherings, and another 5% from institutional settings such as nursing homes.
“The vast majority of the remainder—somewhere probably around 50% or more—we don’t have a way to directly attribute their source of infection,” Mr. Varma said. “And that’s a concern.”
For How Long After I Am Infected Will I Continue To Be Contagious At What Point In My Illness Will I Be Most Contagious
People are thought to be most contagious early in the course of their illness, when they are beginning to experience symptoms, especially if they are coughing and sneezing. But people with no symptoms can also spread the coronavirus to other people. In fact, people who are infected may be more likely to spread the illness if they are asymptomatic, or in the days before they develop symptoms, because they are less likely to be isolating or adopting behaviors designed to prevent spread.
A full, 14-day quarantine remains the best way to avoid spreading the virus to others after you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. However, according to CDC guidelines, you may discontinue quarantine after a minimum of 10 days if you do not have any symptoms, or after a minimum of seven days if you have a negative COVID test within 48 hours of when you plan to end quarantine.
If you are fully vaccinated and have been around someone with or suspected of having COVID-19 you do not need to quarantine. However, as of July 2021, the CDC recommends that you be tested thre to five days after exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result.
I’ve Heard That The Immune System Produces Different Types Of Antibodies When A Person Is Infected With The Covid
When a person gets a viral or bacterial infection, a healthy immune system makes antibodies against one or more components of the virus or bacterium.
The COVID-19 coronavirus contains ribonucleic acid surrounded by a protective layer, which has spike proteins on the outer surface that can latch on to certain human cells. Once inside the cells, the viral RNA starts to replicate and also turns on the production of proteins, both of which allow the virus to infect more cells and spread throughout the body, especially to the lungs.
While the immune system could potentially respond to different parts of the virus, it’s the spike proteins that get the most attention. Immune cells recognize the spike proteins as a foreign substance and begin producing antibodies in response.
There are two main categories of antibodies:
Binding antibodies. These antibodies can bind to either the spike protein or a different protein known as the nucleocapsid protein. Binding antibodies can be detected with blood tests starting about one week after the initial infection. If antibodies are found, it’s extremely likely that the person has been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus. The antibody level declines over time after an infection, sometimes to an undetectable level.
Binding antibodies help fight the infection, but they might not offer protection against getting reinfected in the future. It depends on whether they are also neutralizing antibodies.
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. That’s 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 CDC’s COVID Data Tracker. Areas with substantial or high transmission appear in orange or red.
Coronavirus Status Report: Harvard Public Health Expert Dr Ashish K Jha Fills Us In On Where We Are Headed
The COVID-19 outbreak has caused markets to collapse and worldwide health systems to become overwhelmed. When there’s a global pandemic, it’s nice to hear from the steady, transparent and yes even reassuring voice of experts on the front lines. We spoke to Dr. Ashish K. Jha, faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. Dr. Jha’s recent appearance on the PBS Newshour caused reverberations throughout the federal and state response system. Here’s his update.
Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for more information on coronavirus and COVID-19.
What Types Of Medications And Health Supplies Should I Have On Hand For An Extended Stay At Home
Try to stock at least a 30-day supply of any needed prescriptions. If your insurance permits 90-day refills, that’s even better. Make sure you also have over-the-counter medications and other health supplies on hand.
Medical and health supplies
- prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment
- fever and pain medicine, such as acetaminophen
- cough and cold medicines
- soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers, tampons, sanitary napkins
- garbage bags.
How Long After I Start To Feel Better Will Be It Be Safe For Me To Go Back Out In Public Again
The most recent CDC guidance states that someone who has had COVID-19 can discontinue isolation once they have met the following criteria:
The CDC is no longer recommending a negative COVID-19 test before going back out in public.
Anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 but never experienced symptoms may discontinue isolation 10 days after they first tested positive for COVID-19.
Experts Dont Currently Believe Breakthrough Infections Will Lead To Long Covid For Most People
Long-term complications have occurred with even mild cases of COVID-19. Long-haulers are living with debilitating symptoms, such as nerve pain, neurological issues, fatigue and oxygen complications. Experts don’t believe that will be the case following most breakthrough infections because your immune response will attack the virus a lot faster.
“It’s really the disregulated immune response that happens with a natural infection ? where it takes you a while to clear it ? that causes long COVID,” Gandhi said. “With the vaccine in place, your immune system kicks in quickly and … it goes specifically toward that virus to get it out of your system. It also doesn’t trigger this crazy immune response that can make you so sick.”
That’s not to say that this won’t happen at all. Gandhi noted that this is being studied to confirm the hypothesis. There have been some reports of people experiencing long-term symptoms, and one small study from Israel found apparent long COVID in a few vaccinated healthcare workers after they experienced a breakthrough infection. As time goes on, we’ll have more data to make a definitive conclusion. If anything, all of this is evidence that we need investment in research and care for people with long-haul COVID-19.
People With Coronavirus Are Dying 10 Years Earlier Than They Would Have Naturally: Study
Some of the biggest outbreaks, excluding nursing homes, in fact, that have been reported and traced occurred in prisons, religious ceremonies, choir practices, indoor sporting events, and even birthday parties.
“You’ve got a lot of people in an enclosed space with lots of huffing, puffing, or yelling, which just led to large outbreak events,” Bromage said.
Being exposed to the virus does not automatically mean you will be infected. A successful infection is dependent on the time exposed to the virus and the amount of viral particles you are exposed to. For example, “While joggers may be releasing more virus due to deep breathing, remember the exposure time is also less due to their speed,” Bromage writes.
Scientists call the amount of exposure to the virus that leads to infection the “infectious dose.” Although scientists are still learning more about how many viral particles lead to infection, they do know that sneezing and coughing release the highest amount of viral material into the air, and you’re more likely to become infected if you’re in a confined space.
A single sneeze, according to Bromage, has been estimated to release about 30,000 droplets that can travel up to 200 miles per hour, which means it could easily cross a room. A cough releases round 3,000 droplets that can travel around 50 miles per hour. These particles may drop to the ground or could hang around in the air for a short period of time.
I Am Pregnant And Plan To Eventually Breastfeed My Baby Is It Safe For Me To Get A Covid
In August 2021, the CDC gave its clearest recommendation to date that women who are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or who are breastfeeding should get vaccinated against COVID-19. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine also agree that all pregnant and breastfeeding individuals should be vaccinated. The World Health Organization recommends use of a COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women when the benefit to an individual outweighs the potential vaccine risks. Experts, including the WHO, believe it is most likely safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if you’re breastfeeding. Similar to any decision regarding over-the-counter medications and supplements during pregnancy, your own doctor is in the best position to advise you based on your personal health risks and preferences.
Here are some factors to consider. First, although the actual risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death among pregnant individuals is very low, it is higher when compared to nonpregnant individuals from the same age group. In addition, COVID-19 increases risk for premature birth, particularly for those with severe illness, and possibly also for other undesirable pregnancy outcomes. Transmission of the virus from mother to baby during pregnancy is possible, but it appears to be a rare event.
The Majority Of Breakthrough Cases Were Seen In People Over The Age Of 60 And In Women
According to the CDC, breakthrough infections were reported among people of all ages, but there were some noticeable patterns in terms of age and sex.
“A little over 40 percent of the infections were in people 60 or more years of age,” the CDC said, adding that “65 percent of the people experiencing a breakthrough infection were female.”
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Another Recent Study Found A Slightly Higher Percentage Of Breakthrough Infections
A March 23 letter in The New England Journal of Medicine described a study in which researchers tested fully vaccinated healthcare workers at the University of California, San Diego and University of California, Los Angeles for COVID weekly. Researchers found that there was a .05 percent positivity rate. While this is notably higher than the CDC’s breakthrough infection rate, that could be because the study coincided with a surge of infections in California and healthcare workers are exposed to more virus than the average person.
And overall, it’s still a low rate. Researchers said the “rarity of positive test results 14 days after administration of the second dose of vaccine is encouraging and suggests that the efficacy of these vaccines is maintained outside the trial setting.” To see how long your vaccine will keep you safe, check out This Is How Long the Moderna Vaccine Really Protects You, New Study Says.
Is It Safe To Use Steroids To Control Allergy And Asthma Symptoms During The Covid
Yes, it is safe to use corticosteroid nasal sprays to control nasal allergies or inhaled corticosteroids to control asthma symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology issued a statement emphasizing the importance of controlling allergy and asthma symptoms during the pandemic. They said there is no evidence that intranasal or inhaled corticosteroids increase the risk of getting the COVID-19 infection or lead to a worse outcome if you do get infected.
The ACAAI statement was a response to concerns over reports warning against the use of systemic steroids to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients with specific respiratory complications. However, those reports did not refer to healthy individuals using corticosteroid nasal sprays or inhalers to manage allergies or asthma.
How Soon After I’m Infected With The New Coronavirus Will I Start To Be Contagious
The time from exposure to symptom onset is thought to be two to 14 days, though symptoms typically appear within four or five days after exposure.
We know that a person with COVID-19 may be contagious 48 hours before starting to experience symptoms. People may actually be most likely to spread the virus to others during the 48 hours before they start to experience symptoms.
For people who are not fully vaccinated, wearing masks, particularly indoors, can help reduce the risk that someone who is infected but not yet experiencing symptoms may unknowingly infect others. As of July 2021, the CDC is also advising people who are fully vaccinated to wear masks in public indoor places in areas of the country with substantial or high transmission of the virus.
The Fda Has Granted Emergency Use Authorization To A Rapid Antigen Test For Covid
The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card, as the test is known, detects antigen proteins on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Unlike other diagnostic tests for COVID-19, BinaxNOW does not require a laboratory or other equipment to process or analyze the test results. This makes it portable and fast — results are available within 15 minutes.
This test is approved for use in people who are suspected of having COVID-19, and must be done within seven days of when their symptoms began. A prescription is needed to get this test, which can be performed in authorized locations including doctor’s offices and emergency rooms.
To perform the test, a sample obtained using a nasal swab is inserted into the BinaxNOW test card. The test is a lateral flow immunoassay, which works like a pregnancy test. The appearance of colored lines on the test strip indicates whether or not you have tested positive for COVID-19. The test comes with a smartphone app that can be used to share test results.
Positive test results are highly specific, meaning that if you test positive you are very likely to be infected, particularly if you are tested during the first week of infection when you are experiencing symptoms. False negatives are a bigger concern. As with other antigen tests, BinaxNOW can miss infections, producing negative test results in people who are actually infected.
Only Seven Percent Of Fully Vaccinated People Who Got Covid Became Seriously Ill
According to the CDC, only 29 percent of the breakthrough infections were asymptomatic, so the majority of these infections came with symptoms. Though most were not serious, 396 people who got infected with COVID after they were fully vaccinated required hospitalization and 74 people who were fully vaccinated died. “To date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in case demographics or vaccine characteristics,” the agency said.
The CDC added that samples from the breakthrough cases will be collected for genomic sequencing to find out which variants they stemmed from.
CNN reports that this is the first indication from the CDC that the vaccines don’t protect completely against severe disease and death in real-life scenarios.
And to see which spots you should still avoid after your shot, check out The 2 Places Dr. Fauci Still Won’t Go After Vaccination.
Symptoms Spread And Other Essential Information About The Coronavirus And Covid
As we continue to learn more about coronavirus and COVID-19, it can help to reacquaint yourself with some basic information. For example, understanding how the virus spreads reinforces the importance of prevention measures. Knowing how COVID has impacted people of all ages may reinforce the need for everyone to adopt health-promoting behaviors. And reviewing the common symptoms of COVID-19 can help you know if it’s time to self-isolate.
Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for more information on coronavirus and COVID-19.
What Is ‘viral Persistence’ And How Does That Affect The Course Of The Disease
Sometimes the coronavirus sticks around longer than expected—and scientists are still trying to figure out why that happens in some patients, how it varies by individual, and exactly how long the virus stays alive inside the body. This is known as viral persistence, and it affects how long someone is contagious and therefore how long they should stay in isolation.
Do Adults Younger Than 65 Who Are Otherwise Healthy Need To Worry About Covid
Yes, they do. Although the risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 increases steadily with age, younger people can get sick enough from the disease to require hospitalization. And certain underlying medical conditions may increase the risk of serious COVID-19 for individuals of any age.
Everyone, including younger and healthier people, should get the vaccine once they are eligible, to protect both themselves and their community. Vaccines offer excellent protection against moderate to severe disease, hospitalization, and death. While you’re also less likely to spread the virus once you’ve been vaccinated, 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. That’s 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 CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.
Where Are People Getting Covid Here Are The Most Common Places In King County
Spoiler alert: The coronavirus is not just coming from one place.
We’re getting it at home.
We’re getting it at nursing homes, clinics and hospitals.
We’re getting it at work.
We’re getting it at get-togethers with friends and family, at restaurants and our place of worship.
And we’re getting it by getting close to others with Covid-19 – wherever they may be.
Covid is everywhere, in other words. That marks a shift from the beginning of the pandemic, when outbreaks were primarily at nursing homes and in health care facilities. But nine months in, where you are most likely to contract the virus depends on your age, your race, and which part of the county you call home.
Public Health – Seattle & King County detailing where most of the 37,482 people who have had a confirmed case of Covid-19 probably contracted the illness in the county, as of November 20.
KUOW has been asking Public Health for this data since September.
The report is one more clue in the complex whodunit of coronavirus transmission in the Puget Sound region.
What this report tells us is “the where,” but not necessarily the “who,” “how” or “why” the virus is spreading.
Where we’re getting Covid in the county changes depending on who you are and where you live, according to an analysis in the report covering data from September 22 to November 20.
For example, nearly a third of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders with a confirmed case of Covid-19 got the virus at home.
You Have A 0008 Percent Chance Of Getting Covid After Being Fully Vaccinated
The CDC told Best Life that 5,800 breakthrough infections have been reported as of April 13. Breakthrough cases are defined as positive COVID test results at least two weeks after a person got their final vaccine dose, meaning they’re considered fully vaccinated. With more than 75 million people fully vaccinated in the U.S. as of April 13, according to the CDC, these 5,800 cases represent just about 0.008 percent of the vaccinated population.
Ahead of this information being released, White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, pointed out that breakthrough infections are a common occurrence with vaccines in general. “We see this with all vaccines in clinical trials. And in the real world, no vaccine is 100 percent efficacious or effective, which means that you will always see breakthrough infections regardless of the efficacy of your vaccine,” Fauci said during an April 12 White House COVID-19 Response Team press briefing.
“Vaccine breakthrough infections make up a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated,” the CDC said in a statement via email. The agency noted that fully vaccinated people should continue to take precautions in public spaces, including wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and maintaining good hand hygiene.
To see what you should do following your shot, check out Make Sure to Do This the Day After Your COVID Vaccine, Experts Say.
If You Or Someone You Know Is Sick Or Had Contact With Someone Who Has Covid
People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months or who are fully vaccinated
- People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
- People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.
- People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.
How Long Can The Coronavirus Stay Airborne I Have Read Different Estimates
A study done by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Laboratory of Virology in the Division of Intramural Research in Hamilton, Montana helps to answer this question. The researchers used a nebulizer to blow coronaviruses into the air. They found that infectious viruses could remain in the air for up to three hours. The results of the study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 17, 2020.
Why Most People Who Now Die With Covid In England Have Had A Vaccination
Don’t think of this as a bad sign, it’s exactly what’s expected from an effective but imperfect jab
Last modified on Mon 19 Jul 2021 10.33 BST
AMailOnline headline on 13June read: “Study shows 29% of the 42 people who have died after catching the new strain had BOTH vaccinations.” In Public Health England’s technical briefing on 25 June, that figure had risen to 43% , with the majority having received at least one dose.
It could sound worrying that the majority of people dying in England with the now-dominant Delta variant have been vaccinated. Does this mean the vaccines are ineffective? Far from it, it’s what we would expect from an effective but imperfect vaccine, a risk profile that varies hugely by age and the way the vaccines have been rolled out.
Consider the hypothetical world where absolutely everyone had received a less than perfect vaccine. Although the death rate would be low, everyone who died would have been fully vaccinated.
The vaccines are not perfect. PHE estimates two-dose effectiveness against hospital admission with the Delta infections at around 94%. We can perhaps assume there is at least 95% protection against Covid-19 death, which means the lethal risk is reduced to less than a twentieth of its usual value.
Coverage and effectiveness are important numbers for assessing vaccination programmes. It is better to look at cool analysis by analysts, rather than hot takes on social and other media.