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Infections in unvaccinated people may be severe and accompanied by typical COVID symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, cough, shortness of breath and even low oxygen levels in the blood, according to the University of Iowa Health Care.
Virus levels can be as high in breakthrough cases as in unvaccinated people, even if vaccinated people dont get nearly as sick. The higher levels also persist for longer than was seen with previous strains, meaning an infected person is likely contagious for longer, researchers revealed.
According to Yale Medicine, research shows people with breakthrough delta cases carry tremendous amounts of virus in their nose and throat, and may be contagious whether or not they have symptoms.
Mild symptoms like congestion and runny nose are much more common in a vaccinated person with a delta infection, whereas unvaccinated persons are more likely to experience severe symptoms,” Dr. Claudia Corwin, an occupational medicine specialist with the University of Iowa Health Care, said. A lot of vaccinated people dont even realize that they have a COVID infection because they presume its seasonal allergies or a common cold.
But is there any way to tell the difference?
“I wouldnt even try, said Dr. Ulysses Wu, of Hartford HealthCares System in Connecticut. If you are experiencing any symptoms, whether you are vaccinated or not vaccinated, the suggestion would be to test.
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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.
In addition, the CDC advises everyone vaccinated and unvaccinated to wear masks in public indoor places in areas of the country with substantial or high transmission of the virus. The CDC also advises anyone at increased risk to wear a mask indoors, regardless of the level of community transmission. For people who are not fully vaccinated, the CDC continues to recommend mask wearing and other preventive measures such as physical distancing in some outdoors settings and in most indoor settings.
To check the level of virus transmission in your area, visit the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.
How Long Does It Take To Recover
The COVID-19 recovery period depends on the severity of the illness. If you have a mild case, you can expect to recover within about two weeks. But for more severe cases, it could take six weeks or more to feel better, and hospitalization might be required.
According to the CDC, older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions, like heart or lung disease or diabetes, may be at risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19.
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More Information On Long Covid
CDC and other scientists continue to study the long-term effects of COVID-19 to better understand their impact on health. For more information, visit CDCs Post-COVID Conditions. View the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation dashboard to track how many Americans have long COVID by state, county, and region.
Icipate In Contact Tracing
Answer the call.
Yourlocal health department might contact you to check-in on your health, ask you to stay at home to isolate, discuss who youve been in contact with, and notify your contacts. This is part of contact tracing. You may also get a text message with more information from VDH. Please know that if there is a surge in cases, you may not get a call but should still continue to follow all the steps if you are sick.
Anonymously notify others.
Use Virginias free COVIDWISE Exposure Notification app to report your positive COVID-19 test. This will send an anonymous notification to people you were in close contact with who also use the app.
- Expect a text from VDH if you tested positive for COVID-19 or get your COVIDWISE verification code here: .
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If You Test Positive:
Follow the table below to know the steps to take if you test positive. This table is intended for members of the general public and may be applied to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and workplaces. It does not apply to healthcare facilities or high-risk congregate settings. In the absence of setting-specific guidance from CDC, at this time, VDH recommends not applying this guidance to children or staff in child care settings as a best practice these settings can consider applying it to staff if there are critical staffing shortages.
*People who are severely ill from COVID-19 and those with weakened immune systems might need to isolate for longer. They may also require a viral test to help determine when they can be around others. These individuals are recommended to isolate for at least 10 days and up to 20 days. They should talk to their healthcare provider about when they can end isolation.
Diagnosed With Covid Here’s What To Do Next
Indeed, at least one person who was not vaccinated is reported to have died of omicron. Officials in Houston announced Monday that the unvaccinated man in his 50s succumbed to the virus.
There is also emerging evidence that omicron tends not to burrow deep into the lungs as much as previous variants. A study, which was posted online by the University of Hong Kong and not yet peer-reviewed, found that while omicron is less severe in the lungs, it can replicate faster higher up in the respiratory tract.
In this way, omicron may act more like bronchitis than pneumonia, said Dr. Hugh Cassiere, director of critical care services for Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at the North Shore University Hospital, on Long Island, New York.
“Usually patients with acute bronchitis tend not to be short of breath. They tend to cough and produce sputum,” he said. “Patients with pneumonia tend to be short of breath and feel more fatigued than bronchitis in general.”
Still, it’s virtually impossible for people to rely on symptoms to self-diagnose an illness. In addition to omicron, the delta variant continues to circulate, along with increasing cases of the flu.
For these reasons, doctors urge people who have any cold symptoms or flulike symptoms to get tested.
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Can People Without Symptoms Spread The Virus To Others
“Without symptoms” can refer to two groups of people: those who eventually do have symptoms and those who never go on to have symptoms . During this pandemic, we have seen that people without symptoms can spread the coronavirus infection to others.
A person with COVID-19 may be contagious 48 hours before starting to experience symptoms. In fact, people without symptoms may be more likely to spread the illness, because they are unlikely to be isolating and may not adopt behaviors designed to prevent spread.
But what about people who never go on to develop symptoms? A study published in JAMA Network Open found that almost one out of every four infections may be transmitted by individuals with asymptomatic infections.
Getting vaccinated once you are eligible is important for protecting not just yourself but others as well early evidence suggests that you’re less likely to infect others, or may be contagious for a shorter period of time, once you’ve been vaccinated.
Clean And Disinfect Surfaces
Clean and disinfect all frequently touched or high touch surfaces daily.
- High touch surfaces are places that are touched frequently. These may include counters, tabletops, toilets, phones, and other places.
- If you are a caregiver that needs to clean and disinfect a sick persons space, wear a mask and disposable gloves while cleaning. The person who is sick should also wear a mask.
- See CDCs Caring For Someone Sick At Home for more advice for caregivers.
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Mild Covid Symptoms Can Cause Long
As the effects of the latest COVID variant, Omicron, remain shrouded in mystery, an immunologist at the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, recently conducted a study to uncover potential long-term effects of COVID. The study found that even those who experienced milder symptoms from the virus can potentially endure long-term neurological damage.
Our most recent research was done mostly in mouse model of COVID-19, where we intentionally gave mice a mild respiratory infection with SARS-CoV-2, Iwasaki said in an interview with NBC Connecticut’s Dan Corcoran. We measured what happens in the brain seven days and seven weeks after the infection. And what we found is that even with a very mild infection … we still saw some significant damage in the cells of the brain.”
Iwasaki stated that getting vaccinated and boosted against the virus can prevent some of these long-term consequences from occurring after infection, but clarified that it’s no guarantee.
Iwasaki emphasized that the main objective of the study is to find the root cause of long-term COVID side effects.
We don’t understand how long COVID happens. And if we don’t understand that, we won’t know how to treat these diseases better. Ultimately, we want to understand the underlying mechanism of disease so we can come up with a therapy to treat these patients.”
How Does Coronavirus Spread
The coronavirus spreads mainly from person to person. A person infected with coronavirus even one with no symptoms may emit aerosols when they talk or breathe. Aerosols are infectious viral particles that can float or drift around in the air for up to three hours. Another person can breathe in these aerosols and become infected with the coronavirus.
When people are in close contact with one another, droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes may land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into their lungs.
Transmission is less likely to happen outdoors, where air currents scatter and dilute the virus, than in a home, office, or other confined space with limited air circulation.
The risk of spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects is considered to be extremely low. According to the CDC, each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection.
The virus may be shed in saliva, semen, and feces whether it is shed in vaginal fluids isn’t known. Kissing can transmit the virus. Transmission of the virus through feces, or during vaginal or anal intercourse or oral sex, appears to be extremely unlikely at this time.
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Stay Home Except To Get Medical Care
- Avoid all public areas.
- If possible, take steps to improve ventilation at home.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Wash your hands right after.
- Your local health department can assist you with making sure that your basic needs are being met while you are isolating.
- Once you recover, make sure you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, including getting vaccinated and boosted when you are eligible.
How Worried Should I Be
The great majority of people with coronavirus will have mild or moderate disease and will make a full recovery within 2-4 weeks. But even if you are young and healthy – meaning your risk of severe disease is low – it is not non-existent. And a significant proportion of people who do recover are left with debilitating long-term symptoms – so-called ‘long covid’.
We ALL need to play our part in reducing the spread of coronavirus by following government rules.
If you develop symptoms:
- Check for red flags on the NHS 111 online checker.
- Isolate yourself from the outside world and anyone you live with, for at least ten days.
- If you have symptoms, you can book a free test online.
- Ensure everyone you live with isolates for ten days from the onset of your symptoms or positive test result or ten days from when they develop symptoms, whichever is the longer.
- Look after yourself with plenty of rest, fluids and painkillers if needed.
- Look out for the worsening symptoms above.
- Seek medical help as needed.
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Delta Variant Is Affecting Unvaccinated People More
Most patients hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Center are people who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. Nationally, 97% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, as of July 22. Vaccines are highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection and are also effective in fighting against the Delta variant.
In California and across the U.S., data shows that areas with lower vaccination rates tend to have higher COVID-19 infection rates. Health experts urge that COVID-19 vaccines work to prevent severe disease, which may be fatal.
What If I’m Fully Vaccinated
According to the CDC, if you are fully vaccinated and exposed to someone with COVID, you do not need to quarantine unless you have symptoms.
However, the CDC states that fully vaccinated people who were in close contact with a person who has COVID should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure, even if they dont have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
Isolation is when you avoid other people because you might have been exposed to someone with COVID but you are not sure, and you are not sure if you could be sick.
While you are isolating, the CDC recommends that you:
- Monitor your symptoms
- Stay in a separate room from other people who live in your home
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible
- Avoid contact with others in your home, including your pets
- Do not share personal items, such as cups, towels, and utensils
- Wear a mask if you have to be around other people
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Could Omicron Lead To Long Covid
Though much remains unknown about omicron, experts say the variant could lead to long Covid, even with a mild case.
Patients with long-term symptoms can experience crushing fatigue, irregular heart rhythms and other issues months after their initial Covid infection. This occurred during the first wave of the pandemic, and has continued to lead to long Covid issues through the delta wave.
“We should assume that this variant can do the same thing that previous variants have until proven otherwise,” Lee, of CUNY, said.
What Do We Know About The Omicron Variant
The Omicron variant, which also goes by the scientific name B.1.1.529, is now the most common SARS-CoV-2 variant in the U.S. The World Health Organization and CDC first classified Omicron a variant of concern in November 2021.
Omicron has about 50 mutations, including more than 30 mutations on the spike protein, the region of the virus that binds to and allows the virus to enter human cells. These include several mutations that made earlier variants more transmissible and better able to evade the immune response. A combination of these two attributes increased transmissibility and immune evasion give Omicron a big advantage over other variants.
Several key mutations in Omicrons spike protein suggest that this variant may be more transmissible, spreading more easily from person to person. And real-world data has begun to back this up. An early report from the United Kingdom found that someone infected with the Omicron variant is three times more likely to infect a member of their household than someone infected with the Delta variant.
So, first and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated. If you are eligible for a booster shot, get boosted. The evidence is clear that booster shots sharply increase antibody levels, and that may help fend off infection and illness.
Preventive health measures build upon one another. In addition to getting vaccinated, everyone should
- wear a well-fitting mask
- wash hands frequently
- improve indoor ventilation
- avoid crowded spaces.
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Your Questions On The Coronavirus Answered: What Is The Duration Of Omicron Covid
How long do the symptoms of the omicron variant of covid-19 last?
Donna in California
Symptoms from omicron or any other version of the virus vary from one person to the next. Vaccination status, health history, age and lifestyle could all play a role in the duration and severity of illness.
Getting the vaccines and booster shots is the best way to reduce your risk of severe and potentially long-lasting disease. Its clear from a growing body of research that healthy, boosted people are unlikely to get seriously sick or wind up in the hospital. Those who have received the initial vaccine shots, without boosters, appear to be protected against severe illness, too. Unvaccinated people and those with underlying health conditions face much higher risk of severe covid-19, hospitalization and death.
The emerging picture of omicron suggests that it may be less likely to result in hospitalization compared with the delta variant. Some early data indicates that covid-19 from omicron infections may be less severe, presenting more like a common cold or flu for some patients. Whether that means symptoms actually resolve faster remains to be seen omicron has only been with us for about a month, so the findings are still scattered.