Effectiveness Of Treatments Vary
One of the newer monoclonal antibodies is effective against Omicron, but some of the older monoclonal antibodies are not as effective, said Dr. Parodi. A couple of the new oral medications are also effective against Omicron.
The treatments that have just been approved by the Food and Drug Administration are largely used for ambulatory or outpatient treatment to prevent complications and to prevent hospitalizations, he added, noting that they are effective for those purposes.
A challenge with the new oral therapies is that they’re in short supply right now, said Dr. Parodi. The U.S. government’s doing its best to distribute the supply that we do have available, and they are allocating that to the various local health jurisdictions.
What Are The Odds You’ve Been Exposed To Covid And Just Didn’t Get Sick
If youve been out and about living your life since being fully vaccinated, you might be curious if youve come in contact with the coronavirus. Could you be one of the lucky ones who had an asymptomatic infection? Or, is there still a good chance you havent encountered the virus yet?
The delta variant is everywhere, and it spread much more rapidly than the previous variants. Many people infected with delta are extremely contagious and have viral loads hundreds of times greater than they would have with the original strain. So if youre going to places like restaurants or gyms with a bunch of strangers, it seems inevitable that youll be exposed at some point.
It really is so transmissible that I think theres a high chance, depending on the community transmission rate in your area if you have substantial or high transmission rate in your area based on the CDC definitions that you may have been exposed, said Monica Gandhi, an infectious diseases specialist with the University of California, San Francisco.
Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said its crucial to differentiate between an exposure and an infection. Being exposed, or being in the presence of virus, doesnt necessarily mean you will become infected or develop symptomatic illness .
Theres a good chance a lot of us have been around the virus by now, but whether that exposure caused an infection depends on a few factors, Nuzzo said.
There Is Still More To Learn About Delta
As data about Delta accumulates, scientists are working hard to learn as much as possible as quickly as they can. One important question is whether the Delta strain will make you sicker than the original virus. Early information about the severity of Delta included studies from Scotland and Canada, both cited by the CDC, that suggested the Delta variant may be more likely to result in hospitalization in the unvaccinated. A report this summer, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, found that people in England with Delta had double the hospitalization risk of those with Alpha, which was previously the dominant mutation in that country.
Another question focuses on how Delta affects the body. There have been reports of symptoms that are different than those associated with the original coronavirus strain, Dr. Yildirim says. It seems like cough and loss of smell are less common, she says. And headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever are present based on surveys in the U.K.
Meanwhile, experts continue to study Delta and breakthrough cases. Its difficult to pin down exact numbers of breakthrough infections in the U.S., where the CDC stopped counting cases that dont result in hospitalization or death in May. The agency notes that no vaccine is 100% effective, and any rise in cases will have an accompanying rise in breakthrough infections.
You May Like: How Long Does The Cvs Rapid Test Take
Federal Website For Free At
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said some PCR tests can come back positive even if a person doesn’t remain infectious with the virus because it detects “dead COVID in your nose that you’re not spreading.”
“This is something that’s not a change,” Arwady said. “That’s something we’ve seen forever. It’s why there is not a recommendation to get a negative PCR test before coming back to work…because lots and lots of studies have shown that the PCR tests can stay positive.”
Should work require a negative test to return, Arwady recommended receiving a note from a health care provider that a patient has quarantined for the required time period and is no longer showing a fever or symptoms.
Chicago’s top doctor said last week that the omicron variant has “sped up” the timeline related to the coronavirus, including when people begin to see symptoms and the recovery period.
“As we’ve seen these new variants develop – delta, now omicron – what we’re seeing is everything gets sped up from a COVID perspective,” Arwady said. “It is taking less time from when someone is exposed to COVID to potentially develop infection. It is taking less time to develop symptoms, it is taking less time that someone may be infectious and it is, for many people, taking less time to recover. A lot of that is because many more people are vaccinated.”
Here’s what we know so far.
When To Seek Medical Attention
If you feel like your symptoms are worsening, especially if you have difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider or seek medical attention.
In adults, emergency warning signs include*:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face* This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Before you go to a doctors office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms and any recent travel. This will help them prepare for your arrival so that they can take steps to reduce symptom exposure to themselves and other patients.
Don’t Miss: Cvs Antigen Test Cost
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.
What If You Test Positive Using An At
Those who test positive using an at-home test are asked to follow the latest CDC guidelines and communicate the results to their healthcare provider, who is responsible for reporting test results to the state health department.
According to Chicago-area health departments, people should assume the test results are accurate and should isolate from others to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
“If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate,” Arwady said. “There is no need to repeat a positive at-home test in a medical setting. We don’t want people going into the emergency department just to get a tested. Treat a positive as a positive, stay home and isolate for five days.”
Also Check: Cost Of Cvs Covid Test
What To Do When Sick
Staying home and avoiding physical contact with others is an important prevention step you can take to protect others from being infected and spreading further into the community. It can also be difficult, at times, as it may leave you feeling isolated, or alone. Calling up friends and using mobile video chats can be great ways to stay connected even when physically apart.Please follow these guidelines during your home isolation period:
For your reference, you may also view and download the Home Isolation Guidelines
What Is Close Contact
Close contact is being within 6 feet of the sick person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Exposure starts from 2 days before the person had symptoms of illness until the time the patient is isolated.
A cumulative total means all individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period .
Also Check: Cvs Testing Cost
If Youre Sick Or Caring For Someone Whos Sick
If youre infected with COVID-19, even if not ill, follow the advice of your local public health authority for isolating at home. Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own.
Adults and children with mild COVID-19 symptoms can stay at home while recovering. You dont need to go to the hospital.
If youre caring for someone at home who has or may have COVID-19, you should follow the appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of illness.
Learn more about:
The only way to confirm you have COVID-19 is through a laboratory test.
Follow the testing directions provided by your local public health authority if you have:
- been exposed to a person with COVID-19
People who are partially or fully vaccinated may still be asked to get a COVID-19 test.
If youve been tested and are waiting for the results, follow instructions:
- on how to quarantine or isolate and
- from your local public health authority
Learn more about:
What Should I Do If Im Fully Vaccinated And Ive Been Exposed To The Coronavirus
If youre fully vaccinated and youve come in contact with someone infected with COVID-19, you dont need to quarantine unless you have possible COVID symptoms.
Even if you dont have any symptoms, the CDC recommends that you:
- Get tested 5-7 days after exposure.
- Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure or until your COVID-19 test result is negative.
Read Also: How Much Is Pcr Test At Cvs
When Should You Call A Doctor
The CDC urges those who have or may have COVID-19 to watch for emergency warning signs and seek medical care immediately if they experience symptoms including:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
“This list is not all possible symptoms,” the CDC states. “Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.”
You can also notify the operator that you believe you or someone you are caring for has COVID.
When Is The Best Time To Get Tested After Exposure
The CDC states that anyone who may have been exposed to someone with COVID should test five days after their exposure, or as soon as symptoms occur.
“If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19,” the guidance states.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that incubation times could be changing, but those who test early should continue testing even if they get negative results.
“We might be learning that the time of incubation might be a little shorter. So maybe you’d be testing at two days,” Ezike said. “Obviously if you’re symptomatic, you test right away. But you know, if you want to test at two days, but that negative test… the two days should not make you think, ‘Oh good, I’m clear,’ you know? You might want to test again and of course symptoms you cannot ignore – scratchy throat, headaches, all kinds of symptoms – anything new can be a symptom of this new illness.”
Don’t Miss: How Long Does A Cvs Rapid Test Take
Exposure To Virus And Time Of Exposure Determines Infection
Erin gave an insight into how fast a person can get infected from the virus. In his analysis, Erin talks about a formula: Successful Infection = Exposure to Virus x Time. This formula shows that a successful infection depends upon the exposure to a number of virus particles for a particular period of time. Though he admits that this still needs to be determined experimentally, he states that the number can demonstrate how infection can occur.
According to many studies, as few as 1000 SARS-CoV2 infectious viral particles are needed to get someone infected. The professor states that infection may occur through 1000 infectious viral particles that one may receive in one breath or from one eye-rub, or 100 viral particles inhaled with each breath over 10 breaths, or 10 viral particles with 100 breaths. Each of these situations can lead to an infection.
What Are The Possible Symptoms Of Covid
Please see the CDC’s Symptoms of Coronavirus page for the most up-to-date information.
Any one of the following symptoms may indicate COVID-19, if new and not explained by another health condition:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
Recently, patients testing positive with the Delta variant of COVID reported experiencing symptoms often mistaken for allergies: sore throat, cough, headache, congestion. Lately, fewer patients are reporting loss of taste and smell than those infected with the virus variants circulating in our community last year. Please get tested for COVID-19 if you experience allergy-like symptoms.
Some people with COVID-19 also experience neurological symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms. These may occur with or without respiratory symptoms. See Harvard Health’s If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus.
Many of these symptoms are also symptoms of other viruses and medical conditions, so it is important to protect those around you until you receive test results that indicate if you have COVID-19.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does A Rapid Test Cost At Cvs
What Does It Really Mean To Self
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you may be infected with the COVID-19 virus, it is important not to spread the infection to others while you recover. While home-isolation or home-quarantine may sound like a staycation, you should be prepared for a long period during which you might feel disconnected from others and anxious about your health and the health of your loved ones. Staying in touch with others by phone or online can be helpful to maintain social connections, ask for help, and update others on your condition.
Here’s what the CDC recommends to minimize the risk of spreading the infection to others in your home and community.
Stay home except to get medical care
- Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
- Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
- As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
- Restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask.
Wear a face mask if you are sick
- Wear a face mask when you are around other people or pets and before you enter a doctor’s office or hospital.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Clean your hands often
Monitor your symptoms
Can People Infect Pets With The Covid
The virus that causes COVID-19 does appear to spread from people to pets, according to the FDA, though this is uncommon. Research has found that cats and ferrets are more likely to become infected than dogs.
If you have a pet, do the following to reduce their risk of infection:
- Avoid letting pets interact with people or animals that do not live in your household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
- Walk dogs on a leash maintaining at least six feet from other people and animals.
- Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
If you become sick with COVID-19, restrict contact with your pets, just like you would around other people. This means you should forgo petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding with your pet until you are feeling better. When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick. If you must care for your pet while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with your pets and wear a face mask.
At present, it is considered unlikely that pets can spread the COVID-19 virus to humans. However, pets can spread other infections that cause illness, including E. coli and Salmonella, so wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after interacting with your animal companions.
You May Like: How Long Does Rapid Testing Take At Cvs
My Parents Are Older Which Puts Them At Higher Risk For Covid
Caring from a distance can be stressful. Start by talking to your parents about what they would need if they were to get sick. Put together a single list of emergency contacts for their reference, including doctors, family members, neighbors, and friends. Include contact information for their local public health department.
You can also help them to plan ahead. For example, ask your parents to give their neighbors or friends a set of house keys. Have them stock up on prescription and over-the counter medications, health and emergency medical supplies, and nonperishable food and household supplies. Check in regularly by phone, Skype, or however you like to stay in touch.
When Can I Discontinue My Self
If you have not been vaccinated, a full, 14-day quarantine remains the best way to ensure that you don’t spread 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 self-quarantine. However, as of July 2021, the CDC recommends that you be tested three to five days after exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result.
Read Also: How Much Is Rapid Testing At Cvs