Tell Your Social Contacts That You Have Tested Positive
Testing positive to COVID-19 means that you may have spread COVID-19 to others. You may have been infectious from two days before you developed symptoms, or two days before you tested positive if you did not have symptoms.
You should tell any social contacts that you spent time with whilst infectious that you have tested positive. This includes friends and other people you have met socially, such as friends you had dinner with, people you met up with at a pub, club or social function, friends or family who visited your home.
Tell your contacts to assess their risk and next steps using Information for people exposed to COVID-19 and to get a rapid antigen test.
Vaccines: Between Optimism And Caution
For instance, Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University in the U.K., and her team have been working on a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which she believes will be available for the general population by the fall.
She explains that normally, it may take years of trials before a vaccine reaches the population, but during the pandemic, scientists can fast-track this process by doing as many of the necessary steps as possible in parallel.
First, there is the need to manufacture the vaccine for clinical studies under tightly controlled conditions, certified and qualified we need ethical approval and regulatory approval. Then, the clinical trial can start with 500 people in phase I.
The vaccine could get approval under emergency use legislation, meaning that in an emergency situation, if the regulators agree, its possible to use a vaccine earlier than in normal circumstances, explains Prof. Gilbert.
Still, experts have cautioned that such estimates are overly optimistic. Their comments shed light on the difficulties of making vaccines available in general, not just Prof. Gilberts.
For instance, Prof. David Salisbury, associate fellow of the Centre on Global Health Security at the Royal Institute for International Affairs at Chatham House in London, U.K., warns, t is not just the availability of the first dose that we need to focus on.
Martin Bachmann is another researcher who is optimistic that his lab will help make a vaccine available in 68 months.
What Will Another Pandemic Winter Bring
Some experts say that at least one more wave of infection, hospitalization and death may stand between the United States and endemicity. As Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, points out in The Guardian, cases are once again surging across Europe, and only countries with very high vaccination rates such as Spain and Portugal which have fully vaccinated 80 and 88 percent of their total populations have resisted the trend.
The United States, by contrast, has fully vaccinated only 59 percent of its total population. Now is the time for the U.S. to heed the European signal for the first time, to pull out all the stops, Topol writes. We can acknowledge and accept endemicity that a low level of Covid will remain in the background, but that is not > 75,000 new cases a day. Instead of succumbing to yet another major rise in cases and their sequelae, this is a chance for America to finally rise to the occasion, showing an ability to lead and execute.
An appropriate response, in Topols view, would include promoting not just primary vaccination but also boosters for a wider segment of the population to compensate for waning immunity.
Hes not alone: In a recent interview with The Times, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Americas top infectious disease official, said that Israeli data had led him to believe that everyone in the United States will eventually need a booster to be fully immunized against the coronavirus.
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Take A Test If You Do Not Have Symptoms To Help Manage Your Risk
Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms. This means they could be spreading the virus without knowing it. Testing regularly increases the chances of detecting COVID-19 when you are infectious but are not displaying symptoms, helping to make sure you do not spread COVID-19 by staying at home and self-isolating immediately.
Rapid lateral flow testing continues to be available free of charge. You can get tests from pharmacies or online. Find out more about how to get rapid lateral flow tests.
You are at higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 in crowded and enclosed spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious and where there is limited fresh air.
You may wish to take a rapid lateral flow test if it is expected there will be a period of high risk that day. This is particularly important if you expect that there will be a period of high risk that day. This includes spending time in crowded and enclosed spaces, or before visiting people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19. Report your result and if positive, self-isolate immediately and take a PCR test.
Certain places such as health and social care settings, schools and prisons have their own specific testing rules and guidance. You should always make sure you are aware of this guidance if you visit or work in these places.
What Can We Learn From Other Outbreaks
We can take lessons from other coronavirus outbreaks and historic pandemics.
Part of the reason that the SARS epidemicwhich was caused by a different kind of coronaviruswas tamped down so quickly was that the virus made almost everyone who caught it very sick. This made it easy to trace the spread of the virus. The new coronavirus, on the other hand, causes relatively mild symptoms in most people, and sometimes none at all. This means it has more opportunities to spread unnoticed through the population.
In the city of Toronto, SARS cases began appearing in the winter of 2003 and then calmed down towards the end of spring. This wasnt because summer was coming, though, says Cameron, who was part of the Canadian SARS Research Network that responded to the outbreak. What stopped the SARS virus was a very efficient public health response, he says. The question for me, is how long do we keep these measures in place knowing their impact on the economy and the community?
The city of Toronto saw two waves of SARS cases because it relaxed its emergency guidelines too soon. They felt that they had broken the chain of transmission, but they hadnt, Cameron says.
Its too soon to know how effective the responses in these locations will ultimately be. But their surveillance, mitigation, and public health education measures do seem to have slowed their COVID-19 outbreaks for now while still being less draconian than the lockdown that China had to implement.
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More Kids Will Be Able To Get Vaccinated Against Covid
On November 2, children ages 5 to 11 finally became eligible to get the Covid vaccine. Seven million shots have been administered to those kids so far in December alone, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing Monday.
If you have children under age 5, you might wonder when vaccine eligibility will expand to those young children. Scientists are currently working on getting you an answer, by determining an appropriate dosage for the age group.
It’s an important determination. Too high of a dosage could lead to unwanted side effects, while too low of a dosage won’t effectively protect your child.
Pfizer anticipates having data on its Covid vaccine in this age group by the end of this year, and potentially getting federal authorization in early 2022. Moderna’s researchers won’t have enough comparable data to move forward until mid-January, Dr. Bill Hartman, a principal investigator for UW Health’s KidCOVE Moderna pediatric vaccine trial, told TODAY last week.
When Can You Safely Go Out In Public
The biggest risk of going out in public after having COVID-19 is transmitting the virus to others. If you follow the guidelines, however you can minimize the dangers.
In most instances, contagiousness is negligible after 10 days, but this period may be more prolonged, e.g. two weeks or more, in those with an impaired immune system, says Dr. Bailey. If feasible, prolonging isolation for such people should be considered, perhaps to two or even three weeks, and they should be encouraged to wear a mask when they do venture out in public.
Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. People with mild illness can isolate and recover at home, But if you have symptoms and want to be tested, or if you’ve had close contact with someone with a confirmed case, by all means, find your local testing site.
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How Worried Should I Be About Omicron
Cases of omicron are doubling about every two days. In the past week, the percentage of omicron cases in the United States rose from 13 percent to 73 percent.
“The major question for everyone right now isn’t whether omicron is going to hit their area. It will,” said Dr. Michael Saag, an infectious disease expert and associate dean for global health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“The question,” he said, “is how much disease will it cause?”
Experts continue to urge people to get vaccinated and get a booster shot to reduce the risk for severe illness.
As of Tuesday, about 61 percent of the population had been fully vaccinated. Just under 30 percent had the booster shot.
“This is going to hit us hard,” Poehling, of Wake Forest Baptist, said. But she added that the sheer speed of omicron’s spread could mean that the variant will run its course quickly. “If you look at South Africa, they seem to be doing much better now. I don’t anticipate this as long lasting.”
Understanding The Risks Of Covid
The risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 can be higher in certain places and when doing certain activities. COVID-19 is spread by airborne transmission, close contact via droplets, and via surfaces. Airborne transmission is a very significant way that the virus circulates. It is possible to be infected by someone you dont have close contact with, especially if youre in a crowded and/or poorly ventilated space.
Close contact with an infected person is also a significant way COVID-19 is spread. When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles containing the virus that causes COVID-19. The particles can come into contact with the eyes, nose or mouth or can be breathed in by another person. The particles can also land on surfaces and be passed from person to person via touch.
In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher in crowded and enclosed spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious and limited fresh air.
In situations where there is a higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19, you should be particularly careful to follow the guidance on keeping yourself and others safe. Every little action helps to keep us all safer.
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Positive Dont Test Again
If you have gotten a positive result on a test, there is no point in testing any further.
Health departments say if you test positive, dont keep testing repeatedly in search of a negative test, Amler said. Any positive test is a positive result, so you will just be wasting scarce test kits.
The only time to retest is if you test negative after you have been exposed to someone with the virus or if you have symptoms. It can take time for the virus to build up to levels that are detectable.
You want to test on day three and five or day four and day six after exposure, just to make sure you are negative, Wells said.
How Do I Manage A Baby Or Child With Covid
Most children who test positive for COVID-19 can be safely cared for at home by their usual household carers, even if they are not vaccinated. When caring for your child with COVID-19 at home:
- Dress your child in appropriate clothing, so that they are comfortable not sweating or shivering
- Give your child plenty of fluids to drink. They may not feel like drinking much so will need your help and encouragement.
- If you are breastfeeding or formula feeding your baby may want more frequent feeds. Breastfeeding is safe to continue if you and/or your baby has COVID-19.
- Encourage them to rest and not overdo it
- Use paracetamol or ibuprofen, only if you think your child is in pain or appears uncomfortable with a fever. Follow the instructions on the label, and do not give more of these medicines than is recommended in a 24-hour period, as this may be harmful for children.
- Watch your child for signs that their illness is getting worse.
Monitor your child’s condition and if you notice:
- persistent fever which is not responding to treatment
- mild breathlessness
- drinking less than half of what they would normally drink
- urine output less than half of usual volume, and urine dark in colour
- moderate vomiting or diarrhoea
- unable to stand or walk.
If you are concerned that your child is seriously unwell, has difficulty breathing, is severely dehydrated or fainting, please
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We Know A Lot About Covid
How did those pandemics end? The viruses didnt go away a descendent of the Spanish flu virus, the modern H1N1, circulates to this day, as does H3N2. Humans didnt develop herd immunity to them, either. Thats a phenomenon by which a pathogen stops spreading because so many people are protected against it, because theyve already been infected or vaccinated.
Instead, the viruses that caused these pandemics underwent a transition. Or more to the point, we did. Our immune systems learned enough about them to fend off the deadliest manifestations of infection, at least most of the time. Humans and viruses reached an immunological détente. Instead of causing tsunamis of devastating illness, over time the viruses came to trigger small surges of milder illness. Pandemic flu became seasonal flu.
The viruses became endemic.
If the pattern holds, and it is expected to, SARS-2 will at some point join a handful of human coronaviruses that cause colds, mainly in the winter, when conditions favor their transmission.
When will that happen? Thats the big, unanswerable question. I thought that wed be out of this acute phase already, admitted , the World Health Organizations leading coronavirus expert. Van Kerkhoves thinking, though, is influenced by her adamant view that the world could stop the pandemic if countries would only take the steps countries like New Zealand, Vietnam, and others have done, and bring transmission under control.
Your Immunity Will Last Months Not Years
Unlike chickenpox, getting a COVID-19 infection is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for long.
T wo main things impact how well our immunity will protect us, explains Jeffrey Townsend, an evolutionary biology and biostatistics professor at The Yale School of Public Health. First, antibody levels: Immediately after you get a shot, booster or infection, your antibodies skyrocket and you’re unlikely to get sick. Unfortunately, those levels don’t stay high.
Second, the changing nature of the pathogen: As the virus evolves and variants emerge, our waning antibodies may not be able to target the new variants of the virus as precisely. Omicron is a prime example of a virus that has mutated to be able to continue infecting us that’s what the term immune evasion refers to.
So how much time does an infection buy you?
While that’s hard to answer precisely, Townsend’s team estimates that reinfection could occur somewhere between three months and five years after infection, with a median of 16 months. This is based on an analysis of data from previous antibodies to previous coronaviruses,
“At three to 16 months, you should be on notice,” he says. “The clock is starting to tick again.”
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How Long Does Covid
The infectious period varies from person to person. Most people with COVID-19 will have a mild illness and will recover in a few days.
Generally, symptoms in children and babies are milder than those in adults, and some infected kids may not show any signs of being unwell.
People at higher risk of serious illness may take weeks to recover. If a person develops long-term health problems caused by COVID-19, symptoms most commonly continue for 2 to 8 weeks after infection.
Generally, people are considered infectious from 48 hours before symptom onset. In high-risk settings, they may be considered infectious from 72 hours before symptom onset.
People with mild illness are generally considered to be recovered after 7 days if they have been asymptomatic or have not developed any new symptoms during this time.
If you still have symptoms at day 6, you should have another PCR test. If this is positive you must stay home till your symptoms are gone or you have a negative PCR test. If you still have symptoms at day 12 have a PCR or RAT test.
Sometimes people can still return a positive COVID-19 test although they have recovered This is because people with COVID-19 have infected cells in their body that release the virus into the environment through breathing, sneezing or coughing, or through their faeces and urine. This is called viral shedding.
Work From Home If You Can
Office workers who can work from home should do so from Monday 13 December. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work – for example, to access equipment necessary for their role or where their role must be completed in person. In-person working will be necessary in some cases to continue the effective and accessible delivery of some public services and private industries. If you need to continue to go into work, consider taking lateral flow tests regularly to manage your own risk and the risk to others.
Employers should consider whether home working is appropriate for workers facing mental or physical health difficulties, or those with a particularly challenging home working environment.
For those who attend their workplace, the Government will continue to provide up-to-date Working Safely guidance on how employers can reduce the risks in their workplace. Businesses should consider this guidance when preparing their health and safety risk assessments, and put in place suitable mitigations.
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