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    What to do if you test positive for Covid after your symptoms are gone

    Some people are still testing positive for Covid, even after their symptoms are gone. Here's what you need to know about it, and what to do if it happens to you.

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    HEALTH AND WELLNESS

    What to do if you keep testing positive for Covid—even after your symptoms are gone

    Published Wed, Jun 15 20229:10 AM EDTUpdated Tue, Jun 21 20223:43 PM EDT

    Natalie A. Rahhal, Special to CNBC

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    wayra, E+ via Getty

    Even after the fever has broken, the runny nose has dried up, the official five-day quarantine period has ended and the 10-day precautionary phase is over, some people are still testing positive for Covid — despite feeling totally fine.

    If you find yourself in this situation, you might be puzzled over what to do, particularly since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers little specific guidance on this front. It’s difficult to know exactly how many people this affects — most people self-test at home, so their results are untracked — but a pre-vaccine study of Florida school children in 2020 found that 8.2% of high school kids still tested positive 9-14 days after their first positive tests.

    Even small percentages can affect millions of people, as the country’s total case count continues to rise: The U.S. has surpassed 85.7 million total Covid cases since the pandemic began, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, likely an undercount due to those at-home tests.

    Here’s what you need to know about the phenomenon, and what to do if it happens to you:

    What you should do if you keep testing positive after 10 days

    Testing positive for Covid doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re contagious. Rapid tests detect certain protein pieces of the virus, but those proteins alone don’t cause infection. The same goes for PCR tests, which identify the virus’ genetic material in your system.

    So, to work out if positive tests mean people are infectious, scientists culture samples from these tests in petri dishes to see if more virus can grow, indicating that it’s still alive and contagious. A recent Boston University study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, used this technique and found that just 17% of people were likely still contagious six days after their first positive tests.

    Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to know which category you’re in. But most experts say that as long as your symptoms are gone, you probably don’t need to isolate anymore.

    The CDC recommends isolating for five days after you first test positive, and ending your quarantine as long as you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours and your symptoms are improving. The agency’s guidance adds that you should keep wearing a mask through day 10 — essentially a precaution in case you’re still contagious.

    Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, says she’d “feel really comfortable” with a symptom-free person emerging after five days of isolation, even if they’re still testing positive for Covid.

    “Follow CDC guidance and wear a mask for the following five days,” she says.

    Dr. Wilbur Lam, a pediatrics and biomedical engineering professor who led Emory University’s initiative to test Covid-19 diagnostics for the U.S. government, particularly recommends avoiding contact with people who may have compromised immune systems, or wearing a mask if you can’t avoid the risk.

    “Scientists, including our own center, are really trying to figure out what the variables are that may affect why one becomes persistently positive on rapid tests, and what the implications are both from a biological and a public health standpoint,” he says.

    What testing positive for more than 10 days could mean for your long-term health 

    Last month, the CDC issued an alarming warning that as many as one in five adult COVID-19 survivors may develop long Covid, potentially including long-term symptoms from fatigue and brain fog to circulation and digestive issues. Women, older people and those with chronic health conditions all appear to be at higher risk.

    Covid isn’t the only pathogen that can cause such issues: Dr. Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, notes that other viruses, like human papillomaviruses, can also wreak havoc on the body weeks or even years after the initial infection.

    More than 10 days of positive tests are not a known risk factor for long Covid, but they do raise questions about where the virus could linger. Some viruses are known to hide in tissues that don’t produce symptoms — like fat cells or the gut, for example — before reemerging once it thinks the coast is clear.

    Incidentally, this is one theory for why some people test positive for Covid beyond 10 days — but for now, it’s just a theory. Experts stress that if you do keep testing positive after your week-and-a-half stint is over, you probably don’t need to worry: The precautions are important to take, but you’re unlikely to harm yourself or those around you by ending your isolation.

    That’ll remain true unless further research proves otherwise.

    Source : www.cnbc.com

    How long is Covid contagious? When you are most infectious after positive test and incubation period explained

    It is believed people are at their most infectious one to two days before the onset of symptoms, and during the two to three days afterwards

    How long is Covid contagious? When you are most infectious after positive test and incubation period explained

    How long is Covid contagious? When you are most infectious after positive test and incubation period explained It is believed people are at their most infectious one to two days before the onset of symptoms, and during the two to three days afterwards

    By Euan O'Byrne Mulligan

    June 27, 2022 3:55 pm(Updated June 29, 2022 4:47 pm)

    Daily Covid infections exceeded 200,000 for the first time since late April last week, a reminder that while the worst of the pandemic may have passed, it is not yet over.

    Restrictions have been lifted, self-isolation is no longer mandatory – although is still recommended – and the Government has ended the provision of free Covid tests.

    Here are the symptoms of Covid explained, when you are most infectious, and what to do if you have the virus.

    Here’s what you need to know.

    What are the symptoms of Covid?

    The NHS now lists the following as official Covid symptoms:

    High temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

    New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours

    Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

    Shortness of breath

    Feeling tired or exhausted

    Aching body Headache Sore throat

    Blocked or runny nose

    Loss of appetite Diarrhoea

    Feeling sick or being sick

    The NHS says the symptoms “are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu”.

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    How long are you contagious with Covid?

    For previous variants such as Delta, the World Health Organisation said symptoms could begin to develop anywhere between two days and two weeks after infection.

    However, the incubation period for Omicron and its offshoots is believed to be much shorter – between three and five days.

    It is believed people are at their most infectious one to two days before the onset of symptoms, and during the two to three days afterwards.

    This helps explain why Omicron has been able to spread so quickly, as people have passed the virus on before even realising they have it.

    Harvard University says: “People are thought to be most contagious early in the course of their illness.

    “With Omicron, most transmission appears to occur during the one to two days before onset of symptoms, and in the two to three days afterwards. People with no symptoms can also spread the coronavirus to others.”

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in December: “Recent analysis from the UK Health Security Agency suggests that the window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron variant than the Delta variant.”

    Data shows that the majority of people are no longer infectious seven days after beginning to experience symptoms or first testing positive, particularly when vaccinated, and the majority are no longer infectious after 10 days.

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    How long can you test positive for Covid?

    Most people will stop testing positive within 10 days of starting to experience symptoms, or receiving their first positive test.

    However, it is possible to continue testing positive for weeks or even months after having the virus.

    The good news is that even if you are continuing to test positive after a long time, it is highly unlikely you are actually contagious.

    The Gavi Vaccine Alliance explains: “The time taken to test negative after contracting Covid-19 depends on the severity of the case, and also on the test itself.

    “PCR tests that hunt out parts of viral genetic material (RNA in the case of Covid-19) in our bodies and amplify it so we can detect it are extremely sensitive and can even pick up the presence of few viral fragments. This is because fragments of viral RNA can remain in our bodies long after the infection is over and the virus has been cleared from our system.”

    Source : inews.co.uk

    Still Testing Positive for COVID

    Experts share their advice about isolation, masking and more if you're still testing positive late into a COVID-19 infection.

    HEALTH & WELLNESS

    Still testing positive for COVID-19 after 10 days? Here's what to know

    How to interpret your at-home test results.

    Jan. 18, 2022, 9:28 PM UTC / Updated June 21, 2022, 4:14 PM UTC

    By Sarah Jacoby

    The COVID-19 pandemic isn't over, but there's a new crop of variants circulating around the country. That's why at-home rapid tests are still an important tool in keeping yourself and your community safe. But the results from rapid tests — and how to act on them — can also be confusing, especially if you're still testing positive late in your infection.

    Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates most people who have COVID-19 can expect to see a positive result for five to nine days. But some people continue to get positive test results for even longer than that, and it isn't always clear how to act as safely as possible in those circumstances.

    Learn when to take a COVID-19 rapid test, how to interpret results and what to know about masking and isolating if you’re still testing positive at 10 days and beyond.

    When should you take an at-home COVID-19 test?

    In the event that you develop any symptoms that might signal COVID-19, you should take a home test immediately, the CDC says.

    Those symptoms — congestion, sore throat, cough, fever — might be easily confused with other common illnesses, such as the flu, allergies or the common cold. But because we are still in the midst of a pandemic, it's a good idea to take a test to help rule out COVID-19 first, even if you may just be dealing with seasonal allergies.

    If you've been exposed to a close contact who has COVID-19, you should take a test at least five days after your last contact with that person. And if you test negative, consider taking another test one to two days later to help confirm your results, the CDC suggests.

    You can also take a test before attending an indoor gathering, especially if you know you won't be wearing a mask. Taking a rapid test can also help you determine whether to spend time with people who are particularly vulnerable to severe COVID-19 symptoms, like those with certain underlying health conditions.

    The government is providing at-home COVID-19 tests to Americans for free. Every household in the U.S. can now order up to eight at-home rapid tests that get shipped directly to your address. The cost of other rapid tests should be covered by health insurance, and tests may be available at community health centers for people who don’t have insurance.

    Related: How to properly store your at-home COVID-19 tests in warm weather

    What should you do if you test positive for COVID-19?

    If you test positive for COVID-19, you should follow instructions from your doctor and the CDC about isolation. And you can end your isolation after just five days if you never developed symptoms but should continue wearing a mask for a total of 10 days, according to the latest guidelines from the CDC.

    Or, if you did develop symptoms, you can leave isolation after you've been without a fever for 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medication), provided your other symptoms are resolving as well. That can be as early as after five full days of isolation, the CDC says. Continue to mask around other people for another five days.

    The CDC also amended its guidelines to add that, if you have access to a rapid antigen test, you can take the test at the end of day five of your isolation (as long as you've been fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication). If it's negative, you can use that result to feel more confident about leaving isolation at that time, but continue to mask. If it's positive, the CDC says you should continue isolating through day 10.

    Regardless of when you end isolation, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should take precautions for 10 full days, the CDC says — including masking around others, avoiding travel and limiting contact with people who have a high risk for severe COVID-19.

    If it's challenging to figure out what all those guidelines mean for your specific situation, take a look at the CDC's new quarantine and isolation calculator tool.

    Related: Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5: What to know about future coronavirus variants

    How long do people normally test positive for COVID-19?

    In the most general terms, people will likely test positive on an at-home rapid COVID-19 test for about six to 10 days, Dr. Stephen Kissler, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the department of immunology and infectious diseases, told TODAY.

    But with PCR tests, which look for the virus's genetic material, people may test positive for even longer, Dr. Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi, associate professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explained. "You can still have positivity that may persist for weeks and even months," he explained, noting that positive tests on PCR have been recorded for up to 60 days.

    But there are a lot of factors that can affect how long someone may test positive.

    Considering that different tests may perform differently “and then you have all these variants, you’re changing the variables of the equation over and over again,” said Paniz-Mondolfi, who also leads the Saliva COVID Test Lab at Mount Sinai. That makes it difficult to predict exactly how many days someone will test positive.

    Source : www.today.com

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