When will I be contagious if I have omicrons? Data shows that people were infected earlier with the new COVID variant

When will I be contagious if I have omicrons?

It’s still unclear, but some early data suggests that people may be infected earlier than in earlier variants – possibly within a day of infection.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with coronavirus are most contagious in the days before and after symptoms develop. But that time period may occur earlier with omicrons, according to some outside experts.

That’s because omicrons seem to cause symptoms more quickly than earlier variants – about three days on average after infection, according to preliminary studies. Based on previous data, that means that people with omicrons can start spreading the infection as soon as a day after being infected.

With earlier variants, people become infectious two to four days after infection. And people are still contagious a few days after symptoms subside.

It is too early to know if the shorter incubation period of omicrons translates to earlier infectivity, the researchers say. But it would help explain the rapid spread of the variation.

Amy Karger of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine recommends that people test themselves three days and five days after exposure if possible.

“A lot of people are turning positive on Tuesday,” Karger said, referring to the omicron. “There’s basically an opportunity here to catch people earlier than you with other variations.”

If you only have one test, you can wait until day five, says Karger.

People with COVID-19 symptoms should get tested immediately if possible.

Lab-developed tests are more sensitive than rapid tests, so they can detect the virus by the third day after exposure, if not earlier.

People who don’t show symptoms often have much lower levels of the virus, so it’s not clear when or if they became infected.

However, people who test positive but have no symptoms should isolate for at least five days, according to the latest CDC guidelines. The agency has been criticized for not requiring a negative test before leaving isolation, but even after tweaking the guidelines, officials said that step should be optional.

People with symptoms should be isolated until they are fever free for at least 24 hours.

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https://abc13.com/omicron-symptoms-how-long-contagious-covid-variant-cases/11459292/ When will I be contagious if I have omicrons? Data shows that people were infected earlier with the new COVID variant

Dais Johnston

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