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    Life After Recovering From COVID

    Once you've recovered from COVID-19, you may still have a few questions, like: How long am I contagious? Do I still need to get vaccinated? Get answers here.


    3 Things to Know About Life After Recovering From COVID-19

    Jan. 5, 2022 - Katie McCallum

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    When your COVID-19 symptoms were at their worst, you were probably solely focused on the basics: resting, hydrating and monitoring yourself for worsening symptoms.

    Now, as your road to recovery becomes clearer and clearer, you may be wondering what your "new normal" will look like once your symptoms subside. Unlike the common illnesses you're used to, like a cold or the flu, COVID-19 comes with a few extra question marks.

    How long will I be contagious? Should I be worried about these lingering symptoms? Does this mean I don't have to get vaccinated or wear a mask anymore?

    Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine or Booster

    Everyone 5+ can receive a COVID-19 vaccine and those who are 12+ may be eligible for a booster. We offer walk-ins and online scheduling for free Pfizer vaccines.

    Here to help you understand what life looks like after recovering from COVID-19 is Dr. Joshua Septimus, associate professor of clinical medicine and medical director of Houston Methodist Primary Care Group Same Day Clinics.


    A person with COVID-19 is thought to be most contagious in the days immediately leading up to symptom onset (aka, the presymptomatic period) and throughout the first several days of his or her symptoms.

    But, it can take several more days for a person's immune system to actually clear the virus from the body.

    "Most studies show that by the end of 10 days of infection, your body has cleared the active virus," says Dr. Septimus. "A person with COVID-19 is likely no longer contagious after 10 days have passed since testing positive for coronavirus, and 72 hours after resolution of his or her respiratory symptoms and fever," Dr. Septimus explains.

    When it comes to staying home long enough to ensure you're no longer contagious, be sure to follow the CDC's isolation guidelines. Completing your isolation, even if you're asymptomatic or your symptoms are clearing up and you're feeling better, is imperative to ensure you don't spread COVID-19 to others.


    COVID-19 comes with a pretty long list of symptoms — the most common being fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.

    Both the severity and duration of these symptoms vary from person to person, but some symptoms are more likely to last well into your recovery period.

    "Some symptoms of COVID-19 linger longer than others," says Dr. Septimus. "In particular, fatigue and loss of taste and smell can persist beyond the period of contagion."

    While uncomfortable and/or inconvenient, Dr. Septimus adds that these lingering symptoms aren't too worrisome for most people.


    Immunity is complicated and, yes, you can still get reinfected with COVID-19.

    In fact, a recent study found that unvaccinated adults were twice as likely to get reinfected with COVID-19 than those who got vaccinated after they'd recovered from their illness.

    "We still know very little about the immune system's response to this virus, including how long protective immunity may or may not last," Dr. Septimus warns. "What we do have a clear understanding of is the strong protection that vaccine-induced immunity provides."

    What does this mean for you?

    Even after recovering from COVID-19, it's imperative that you get vaccinated and continue to practice the preventive measures that protect yourself and others from the virus, including social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands regularly.

    For those who are vaccinated and experience a breakthrough infection, you'll still want to get a COVID booster. If you are 16+, it's recommended that you get your booster once your symptoms resolve and you have met the criteria for ending isolation — and the recommended time has elapsed since your primary series of either Pfizer (5 months), Moderna (6 months) or J&J (2 months). People who received monoclonal antibodies as part of their COVID-19 treatment plan will need to wait 90 days before getting a COVID booster.

    "The universal precautions that help prevent the spread of COVID-19 are just that — universal," Dr. Septimus adds. "We're all in this together, and we're all responsible for keeping our community safe. Each and every one of us needs to take these precautions seriously, regardless of whether you've already had COVID-19 or not."

    Categories: Tips to Live By

    Tags: Coronavirus


    Should You Still Wear A Mask Even If Everyone Around You Isn't?

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    Source : www.houstonmethodist.org

    How Long Are You Contagious With COVID? Here’s What We Know – NBC Chicago

    When are people with COVID most contagious and how long can they spread it? When should you get tested after exposure and how long should you quarantine, if at...

    When are people with COVID most contagious and how long can they spread it? When should you get tested after exposure and how long should you quarantine, if at all?

    The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shifted the timing for isolation and quarantine as some experts say the time frame when people are most contagious is earlier.

    "As we've seen these new variants develop - delta, now omicron - what we're seeing is everything gets sped up from a COVID perspective," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Thursday. "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.

    Stay informed during the severe weather season with our local news and weather app. Get the NBC 5 Chicago app for iOS or Android and pick your alerts.

    When Are People with COVID Most Contagious?

    The CDC says that its guidelines were updated to reflect growing evidence that suggests transmission of COVID-19 often occurs one to two days before the onset of symptoms and during the two to three days after.

    "This has to do with data from the CDC that really showed after seven days there's virtually no risk of transmission at this point," Arwady said. "And in that five-to-seven-day window, you know, there's some depending on whether people have been vaccinated underlying conditions, etc., but the risk drops a lot and the feeling is that in the general population, combined with masking, etc. the risk really is very low."

    For those without symptoms, CDC guidance states they are considered contagious at least two days before their positive test.

    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 can you cannot ignore - scratchy throat, headaches, all kinds of symptoms - anything new can be a symptom of this new illness."

    How Soon Might Symptoms Appear?

    According to earlier CDC guidance, COVID symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus.

    Anyone exhibiting symptoms should get tested for COVID-19.

    How Long Should you Quarantine or Isolate?

    First things first, those who believe they have been in contact with someone who has COVID and are unvaccinated should quarantine. Those who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Here's the breakdown:


    Those who have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period should quarantine for five days if unvaccinated or more than six months out from their second dose, according to updated CDC guidance issued Monday.

    Once that period ends, they should partake in strict mask use for an additional five days.

    Previously, the CDC said people who were not fully vaccinated and who came in close contact with an infected person should stay home for at least 10 days.

    Prior to Monday, people who were fully vaccinated — which the CDC has defined as having two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — could be exempt from quarantine.

    Those who are both fully vaccinated and boosted do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of someone with COVID, but should wear a mask for at least 10 days after exposure. The same goes for those who are fully vaccinated and not yet eligible for their booster shot.

    Local health authorities can also make the final determination about how long a quarantine should last, however. And testing can play a role.

    Illinois' health department said it will adopt the CDC revised guidelines on isolation and quarantine for COVID.

    In Chicago, those who travel to or from certain parts of the country and are unvaccinated must quarantine upon arrival to the city, but the length of time they should do so for depends on whether they get tested for COVID.

    The city has not yet said if the new CDC guidance will change its travel advisory guidelines.

    As of Tuesday, the city's travel advisory recommends those who travel from designated warning states must:

    Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.

    Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.

    Source : www.nbcchicago.com

    How Long Before Someone With COVID

    Infectious diseases specialists believe that on average the vast majority of people who contract the coronavirus are most contagious immediately before and immediately after symptoms appear. But how long people are contagious for varies from person to person, depending on the severity of their infection, the intensity of their exposure, and the response of their immune system.


    How Long Before Someone With COVID-19 Isn't Contagious?

    Written by Julia Ries on January 20, 2022 — Fact checked by Maria Gifford

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    Experts say the window of highest infectivity

    Trusted Source Trusted Source Trusted Source

    seems to occur 2 days prior to symptom onset to 3 days after symptom onset.

    Rapid antigen tests can detect high viral loads and are currently thought to be reliable in telling people whether or not they could still be contagious.Health officials recommend isolating for 5 to 10 days if you develop COVID-19.

    Infectious diseases specialists believe that, on average, the vast majority of people who contract the coronavirus are most contagious immediately before and immediately after symptoms appear.

    Research Trusted Source Trusted Source

    shows that most people will no longer be contagious 5 to 6 days after symptoms appear. Still, some evidence suggests about one-third

    Trusted Source Trusted Source

    of people who contract the infection continue to be infectious for a longer period.

    Health experts do not recommend using a PCR test to determine if you may still be contagious since these types of tests are sensitive and can detect small amounts of non-infectious viruses.

    Rapid antigen tests, on the other hand, can detect high viral loads and are currently thought to be more reliable in telling people whether or not they could still be contagious.

    “For a symptomatic infection, the time from illness onset has been shown to be more reliable than PCR testing to predict the presence of live [or] contagious COVID-19 virus,” Dr. Charles Bailey, the medical director for infection prevention with Providence Mission Hospital and Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County, CA, told Healthline.

    “Antigen testing may be more capable of determining infectivity since its threshold for detecting COVID-19 more closely aligns with an amount of virus capable of transmission,” he added.

    How long are people contagious?

    According to Bailey, the length of infectivity will vary from person to person and depends on the severity of infection, the intensity of exposure, and each person’s immune system.

    In general, the window of highest infectivity

    Trusted Source Trusted Source

    seems to occur 2 days before symptom onset to 3 days after symptom onset.

    Contact tracing studies

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    from earlier in the pandemic have found that it’s less common for transmission to occur when exposed to a person 6 days after their symptom onset.

    It’s still possible for people to transmit the virus to others after 5 days of symptoms, which is why health officials are advising people who recently recovered from their illness to continue wearing a mask for 5 days when they’re around other people.

    One study recently published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases found that about one-third of people with the infection continue to be contagious after 5 days.

    But it’s unclear if this remains true with the Omicron variant.

    A recent study Trusted Source Trusted Source

    from Japan found that patients infected with the Omicron variant shed virus for longer after symptoms appear.

    The study suggests that the peak of viral shedding with the Omicron variant may be 2 or 3 days longer than previous variants.

    Do certain symptoms suggest we’re contagious?

    Dr. Julie Parsonnet, an infectious diseases epidemiologist with Stanford Medicine, says there doesn’t appear to be a strong relationship between a person’s symptoms and how much virus is in their nose and throat.

    But in general, people who’ve tested positive and are symptomatic are more at risk of transmitting and should isolate at home to avoid transmitting the virus to others.

    “People whose symptoms are not improving — particularly if they have coughing and sneezing — should continue to stay home until they’re feeling better,” Parsonnet said.

    If someone carrying the virus is coughing or sneezing, there’s a greater chance they can spread the virus to others since they’re releasing respiratory droplets that carry the virus.

    Researchers are still studying if and how symptoms correlate to how contagious a person is.

    “We don’t exactly how symptom duration relates to how long someone is contagious, but we do typically associate symptoms like fever as indication that someone is still infectious,” said Dr. John Carlo, the CEO of Prism Health North Texas and member of the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force.

    Research Trusted Source Trusted Source

    has also shown that people with asymptomatic infections, though less likely than symptomatic individuals to spread the infection, can transmit it to others.

    Parsonnet says it’s difficult to quantify how long asymptomatic individuals are contagious because it’s hard to identify when and how long they’ve been infected.

    “Asymptomatic transmission might prove to be more common with the Omicron variant given its higher infectivity, but too early to draw this conclusion now,” Bailey said.

    Source : www.healthline.com

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