What Is The Ideal Period To Wait Before You Get Vaccinated The Health Department Says 35 Days After A Positive Test Result Or 30 Days After Your Last Covid Symptoms
Salim Abdool Karim: There is no hard and fast rule. Most countries have gone with 30 days because Public Health England was the first government agency trying to find an answer to that. And when they started vaccinating people 30 days and over after the acute infection, the patients did quite well. So we now know from their empirical observation that its quite safe to do that.;
There is no particular adverse reaction thats going to occur earlier, its just that we dont want to confuse the immune system. And during the third phase of COVID-19, the immune phase, where you can get quite ill, we dont want to overstimulate the immune system. So we are trying to avoid that by giving the vaccine at least 30 days later.
How Soon After Covid
So you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19. How long will it take for you to know if youre infected?
The coronavirus affects everyone differently, including the amount of time it takes to start experiencing symptoms or get confirmation that you have the virus. That said, heres a general timeline you can expect and what else you should know:
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.
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How Do I Know If I Have Covid
COVID-19 often causes symptoms similar to those a person with a bad cold or the flu would experience. And like the flu, the symptoms can progress and become life-threatening.
So far there has been much less than the usual number of cases of influenza, likely due to the enhanced public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID.
Therefore, at the current time, people with “flulike” symptoms should assume they have COVID. That means isolating and contacting your doctor or local board of health to arrange testing.
Testing Guidelines And Delays
Canada’s testing criteria was limited in early stages of the pandemic, partly to ensure access for those most at risk of contracting COVID-19. But some provinces began expanding criteria over the summer to include anyone who wanted a test.
Ontario and Alberta are among those that say they will test anyone worried about COVID-19 exposure, regardless of whether they have symptoms.
Manitoba, meanwhile, asks people to use an online self-assessment tool “to be certain they meet the necessary criteria” but says anyone with symptoms should get tested.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says on its website that testing is “not recommended for asymptomatic individuals” yet may be encouraged regardless of symptoms as part of an outbreak investigation.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CTV News Channel last week that policymakers should not impede Canadians’ ability to get tested, but also not encourage over-testing.
As long lines are being reported at COVID-19 testing centres across the country, the federal government has pledged billions in funding to address the issue and improve other pandemic measures.
Bogoch explained that testing wait times are affected by a combination of factors, including limited testing capacity and increased demand.
“The capacity currently is significantly better than what it was in for example March or April of this year, but clearly it’s not where it needs to be,” he said.
With files from The Canadian Press
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Getting Tested For Covid
People exposed to the virus who have had close contact with a confirmed case should get tested whether or not they have symptoms, Amira Roess, PhD, a professor of global health and epidemiology at George Mason University, told Healthline.
By identifying individuals who are positive early in disease progression before they develop symptoms and implementing public health interventions, we can prevent a large percentage of infections. This is key, because we have learned that asymptomatic infection is a key driver of this epidemic, she said. Finding asymptomatic individuals will allow us to prevent them from spreading the virus.
On the flip side, people with no exposure history and no symptoms should not get tested, Roess adds.
The viruss incubation period is around 5 to 7 days, but it can be up to 14 days.
If you get tested too early after exposure, it can be possible that you have a false-negative test, notes Dr. Abraar Karan, an internal medicine doctor at the Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
A positive polymerase chain reaction means that you have detectable viral RNA. This does not necessarily say if you are infectious, Karan said.
Despite a positive PCR, studies have shown for some people there was little to no culturable virus after about 9 to 10 days. This means a person had an infection with the virus but tested positive long after they were no longer infectious to others.
Additionally, there are issues with how accurate these tests are.
How Is The Coronavirus Transmitted
The coronavirus is thought to spread primarily through respiratory droplets released when somebody talks, coughs, or sneezes.
These droplets may spread the disease directly from person to person, or the droplets may land on a surface and then are picked up from there.;
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. They carry the same amount of virus as those who are infected and not vaccinated, but seem to be infectious for a shorter period.;
Since the coronavirus seems to be primarily transmitted by people who arenât experiencing symptoms yet, wearing a mask and maintaining social distance are the best steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.;
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When To Use A Self
You can only use self-test if you do not have symptoms and have not been exposed to COVID-19covid 19.
If you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19covid 19, you can get a free test provided by the Government of Ontario at an assessment centre or a participating community lab. You should self-isolate until you get a negative test result back.
Bhekisisa: How Long Should You Wait To Get Vaccinated If You Have Long Covid
Salim Abdool Karim: There is no evidence to determine the appropriate answer to the question on long COVID. In the absence of evidence to guide vaccination in people with long COVID, I think it is probably best to stick with the current general health department guidance of 35 days after the positive COVID test, until studies provide data to guide an evidence-based guideline for individuals with long COVID.
The Tragedy Of Long Covid
- By Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter
Suppose you are suddenly are stricken with COVID-19. You become very ill for several weeks. On awakening every morning, you wonder if this day might be your last.
And then you begin to turn the corner. Every day your worst symptoms the fever, the terrible cough, the breathlessness get a little better. You are winning, beating a life-threatening disease, and you no longer wonder if each day might be your last. In another week or two, youll be your old self.
But weeks pass, and while the worst symptoms are gone, youre not your old self not even close. You cant meet your responsibilities at home or at work: no energy. Even routine physical exertion, like vacuuming, leaves you feeling exhausted. You ache all over. Youre having trouble concentrating on anything, even watching TV; youre unusually forgetful; you stumble over simple calculations. Your brain feels like its in a fog.
Your doctor congratulates you: the virus can no longer be detected in your body. That means you should be feeling fine. But youre not feeling fine.
The doctor suggests that maybe the terrible experience of being ill with COVID-19 has left you a little depressed, or experiencing a little PTSD. Maybe some psychiatric treatment would help, since theres nothing wrong with you physically. You try the treatment, and it doesnt help.
How To Get Tested For Current Covid
- Contact your healthcare provider or visit your state, tribal, localexternal icon, and territorial health departments website;to find the latest local information on testing. The type of viral COVID-19;tests offered;may differ by location.
You and your healthcare provider might also consider either an at-home collection kit or an at-home test;if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and if you cant get tested by a healthcare provider or public health official.
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How We Test For Covid
Want to understand COVID-19 testing?
In Canada, there are different ways to test and analyze results for COVID-19. As laboratories and public health officials integrate new tests and technologies, they will determine the right test for you.
Currently, all tests must be performed by a health care professional. At this time, we havent authorized at-home test kits .
Want to see how testing is done?Watch health professionals in action.
How Contagious Is The Coronavirus Disease
Itâs important to note that emerging research shows that the Delta variant is nearly twice as contagious as previous COVID-19 variants.;
According to the Mayo Clinic, âThe virus appears to spread easilyâ through close contact with other people via respiratory droplets that are released anytime a person sneezes, coughs, or talks.
Those droplets may land on you or a surface that you touch before touching your eyes, mouth, nose, or face.
A number called; Ro indicates how many people the virus typically spreads to from one infected individual.
Ro will vary depending on your location and potential number of exposed individuals. For example, in dense cities, Ro is likely to be higher than in rural areas because people are more likely to come into contact with more individuals.;
Studies have put the COVID-19 Ro as high as 7 and as low as 2. The estimate for the Alpha variant was 1.4-3.9 and the Delta variant is estimated to be 6.;
For context, the seasonal flu Ro tends to be around 1.3 and the measles could have an Ro as high as 18, making measles the highest known to humankind.;
This graphic demonstrates how an Ro of 2 spreads from one person to two people and so on. Graphic source:University of Michigan
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Who Is Not Required To Stay Home After Having Close Contact With Someone With Covid
- People who have had COVID-19 in the past 3 months as long as they do not develop new symptoms.*
- People who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as long as they do not have symptoms.*
- Fully vaccinated people should still get tested 3 to 5 days after close contact exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test.
- Fully vaccinated people who live with someone with a weakened immune system, at increased risk of severe disease, or unvaccinated could also wear a mask at home for 14 days after close contact with someone with COVID-19 or until they receive a negative test result.
What Is A Covid
The polymerase chain reaction test for COVID-19 is a molecular test that analyzes your upper respiratory specimen, looking for genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Scientists use the PCR technology to amplify small amounts of RNA from specimens into deoxyribonucleic acid , which is replicated until SARS-CoV-2 is detectable if present. The PCR test has been the gold standard test for diagnosing COVID-19 since authorized for use in February 2020. Its accurate and reliable.
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Moving Toward A Better Definition Of Long Haulers And A New Name
Very different chronic illnesses may develop in some people who have had COVID-19. So, the National Institutes of Health has proposed a unifying name: post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, or PASC. ;;
Most people who get COVID-19 recover within weeks or a few months. However, some will likely suffer chronic damage to their lungs, heart, kidneys or brain that the virus inflicted. Others will develop long COVID.
We do not yet have a formal definition of long COVID. In my opinion, such a definition should include these three points:
- A medical diagnosis of COVID-19, based on both symptoms and/or diagnostic testing for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus
- Not having returned to pre-COVID-19 level of health and function after six months
- Having symptoms that suggest long COVID, but no evidence of permanent damage to the lungs, heart, and kidneys that could cause those symptoms.
Is long COVID the same as chronic fatigue syndrome ?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has speculated that long COVID likely is the same as or very similar to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome .
Whats Happening In My Body At The Beginning Of A Viral Infection
If SARS-CoV-2 does succeed in hijacking a cell’s machinery, then its well on its way to infection. This first period, where a virus is gathering materials for replication, then creating initial copies of itself and releasing those copies to infect cells on either side, is known in some virology circles as a latent period. Its a given amount of time where a virus is busy finding accessible, permissive cells and setting up infrastructure to replicate itself and is therefore undetectable.
In a lab, when you infect a cell line and look at what comes out, youll not see anything for a fixed amount of time, Lee says. Eight hours, 16 hours, then it crosses a critical threshold and starts going up. Once SARS-CoV-2 has established its first few cellular factories, things begin to move quickly. Viruses replicate exponentially, Lee says. Infecting two cells doesnt mean twice the amount of virus. It can mean 100 or 1,000 times the amount.
When it comes to most of the viruses in our body, this is usually the end of the story. Most of the time, we dont even know were infected with something, Messaoudi says. We do battle, we win, and the immune system cleans up the area. We go on as if nothing happened.
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Tests Using Saliva Are Just As Accurate As Tests That Swab The Nose Or The Nasopharyngeal Passage
Saliva tests are becoming more commonplace, but dont confuse the method of sample collection with the type of test, says Heather Pierce, JD, AAMC senior director of science policy and regulatory counsel. While the early tests for COVID-19 involved swabbing the nose or the nasopharyngeal passage and those tests are still the predominant form of sample collection a persistent shortage of swabs has led to the development of saliva tests.
The saliva test developed by Yale University, SalivaDirect, has been widely heralded because of its accessibility and ease of use, Pierce says. While still a PCR test, it does not require a particular reagent or machine the collected saliva can be used on PCR machines from different vendors and it also eliminates a time-consuming step: the extraction of the RNA from the sample, says Chen Liu, MD, PhD, chair of pathology at Yale New Haven Hospital, whose federally certified lab oversaw the validation of the SalivaDirect test and is offering the test to other labs.
What we found was that if you are tested in the days immediately after exposure, the false negative rate is anywhere from 50% to 100%.
Lauren Kucirka, MD, PhDEpidemiologist and OB-GYN resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Can You Still Pass The Virus To Others Even If Youve Been Vaccinated
Researchers are currently studying whether someone whos been vaccinated can carry the virus and pass it on to others.;
Its looking like the vaccine actually cuts down on the transmissibility of the virus. So if youve been vaccinated, theres much less likelihood that youre going to get exposed to the virus and be able to pass it on to others.
She clarifies that some of the early data has not been peer reviewed yet, although it has been published. So researchers are still finalizing this information. But she says early research indicates that being vaccinated for COVID-19 can make you 90% less likely to have an asymptomatic infection and transmit the virus to those around you.
It looks like the vaccine truly is not only protecting you, but it is protecting those around you.;
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