What to do if you test positive for Covid-19 now

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(CNN)Covid-19 infections are connected the rise, with most US states reporting an summation successful cases. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the highly contagious BA.2.1.21 subvariant of Omicron is present the ascendant strain of coronavirus nationwide.

Two years into the pandemic, galore aren't definite what to bash aft investigating affirmative for Covid-19. Should they isolate, and if so, for however long? How important is it to spot a doctor? What therapies are available, and who is eligible?

To assistance reply these and different questions, I spoke with CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an exigency doc and prof of wellness argumentation and absorption astatine the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She is besides writer of "Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey successful the Fight for Public Health" and the parent of 2 young children.

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CNN: It seems similar a batch of radical are getting diagnosed with Covid-19 close now. I person friends who person been precise cautious passim the pandemic who are present investigating positive. Why is that?

Dr. Leana Wen: First and astir importantly, we are dealing with an highly contagious subvariant. The archetypal Omicron variant was already much contagious than Delta and erstwhile variants. Then, we had BA.2, a subvariant of Omicron that was much contagious than Omicron, and present we person an offshoot of BA.2, called BA.2.1.21, that appears to beryllium adjacent much transmissible.

A much transmissible variant means that the activities we thought were comparatively harmless earlier are present higher risk. This doesn't mean that we should debar each activities, but alternatively that radical who person been precise cautious earlier whitethorn beryllium getting infected present due to the fact that of however contagious this subvariant is. Also, radical antecedently infected with Omicron person immoderate grade of extortion against this caller subvariant; those not antecedently infected are present much susceptible. Fortunately, it does not look that this variant causes much terrible illness successful astir people, and the vaccine and archetypal booster inactive supply bully extortion against hospitalization and decease for those who are infected.

A accelerated   Covid test, besides  known arsenic  antigen trial  oregon  lateral travel  test, shows a affirmative  effect   successful  a adjacent  up   connected  a array  successful  Barcelona, Spain connected  February 04.

Another crushed for the accrued fig of infections is that radical are engaging with 1 different more, including indoors and without masks. Any clip specified interactions occur, determination is hazard of transmission. Again, this is not to accidental that radical should ne'er subordinate with 1 another, but rather, to beryllium alert of the hazard and to instrumentality precautions, particularly for those with immunocompromise and others astatine higher hazard for terrible disease.

CNN: If idiosyncratic gets diagnosed with Covid-19, what should they do? Is isolation inactive recommended?

Wen: Yes, it is, and successful fact, that is the archetypal happening that I urge for radical to bash if they trial affirmative for Covid-19. Whether they performed their ain location trial and person a affirmative effect oregon received a affirmative effect backmost from a PCR test, they should instantly isolate. If they are astatine home, spell to a country distant from others. If they are astatine work, enactment connected an N95 disguise to transit done nationalist areas and caput home, ideally successful your ain vehicle.

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Isolation isn't ever easy, particularly for those with young children and who unrecorded successful multigenerational housing. If possible, place different big to attraction for young kids truthful that the infected idiosyncratic tin isolate by themselves. If a kid is the 1 who tested positive, delegate 1 big to attraction for that child. (We discussed much astir the challenges of isolation with young children in this erstwhile Q&A.)

CNN: How agelong should radical isolate?

Wen: The time that you instrumentality your affirmative trial is time zero. If you had symptoms earlier then, accidental the time before, that time is time zero—whichever is first. Day 1 is 24 hours aft the affirmative trial oregon quality of symptoms. You request to beryllium isolated from others for 5 days. That means not being successful the aforesaid country astatine location with radical you unrecorded with and not going to enactment successful person. If you person to share, say, a bathroom, marque definite to deterioration a well-fitting N95, KN95 oregon KF94 portion successful these communal areas, minimize your clip successful them, and unfastened the windows arsenic overmuch arsenic possible.

The CDC says that aft the 5th time of isolation, if you person nary fever and your symptoms are improving, you tin spell into nationalist spaces similar market stores and to enactment and school, arsenic agelong arsenic you deterioration a well-fitting disguise the full time. A batch of workplaces and schools person their ain policies that are much stringent than this and whitethorn require, for example, a afloat 10 days earlier you return.

In addition, I privation to caution that the CDC is not saying that aft time 5, you tin freely subordinate with your household and radical successful your home. You could inactive beryllium contagious. The CDC says that you should inactive beryllium masking astir others for days 6 done 10. That includes not eating with radical you unrecorded with, indoors, during those days.

With a emergence  successful  coronavirus cases, what precautions should you instrumentality     for  graduations and different   festivities?

Many nationalist wellness experts, including me, would urge investigating retired of isolation arsenic an further level of precaution that besides reduces inconvenience. This is not what the CDC says, but I deliberation it's tenable to commencement investigating with a location accelerated trial from time 5. If you trial antagonistic connected time 5 and time 6, and you person nary fever and improved symptoms, past you could exit isolation. That would marque for a little onerous isolation period, particularly for families who unrecorded successful tiny spaces oregon person young children to attraction for.

A  idiosyncratic    prepares 1  of the caller   government-issued Covid-19 Antigen Rapid trial  kits she received to instrumentality     a self-test portion    astatine  location  connected  February 8 successful  Provo, Utah.

CNN: What therapies should radical take? Should everyone get them?

Wen: It's important you telephone your aesculapian supplier and inquire if you are eligible for therapeutics. I would telephone careless of whether you person mild, terrible oregon nary symptoms, due to the fact that you should cognize what your options are. There are 3 main types of therapies, each of which are meant to beryllium taken earlier idiosyncratic becomes severely ill, successful bid to forestall hospitalization. Generally, the sooner you commencement connected the therapies, the much effectual they are.

The 3 options are antiviral pills (paxlovid and molnupiravir are the 2 antivirals that person been granted authorization), monoclonal antibodies, and remdesivir. The pills are taken orally, portion the different 2 necessitate injections oregon infusions. They are meant for radical who are astatine higher hazard for progression to terrible disease. Some of the therapies whitethorn not beryllium easy disposable successful your area. Others mightiness person interactions with different medications oregon treatments you are on.

I highly urge that radical talk with their aesculapian providers successful beforehand of getting sick truthful that they person a plan. Someone who is successful their 20s and steadfast is astir apt not eligible for these therapies, but idiosyncratic other who is successful their 60s with immoderate chronic aesculapian conditions volition be. Know successful beforehand what you'd get if you trial affirmative and however you would entree the therapies, including aft hours and connected weekends. If you don't already person this plan, telephone your supplier instantly aft you trial affirmative and sermon the options.

For radical who don't person a regular aesculapian provider, the national authorities has a therapeutics locator, including a "test-to-treat" enactment wherever radical tin spell to get tested, spot an urgent attraction provider, and get the therapies each astatine the aforesaid location. Your section and authorities wellness departments volition apt person further accusation and resources, too.

CNN: How bash you code skeptics who mightiness inquire what's the constituent of getting vaccinated if vaccinated radical tin inactive go infected?

Wen: Let's speech astir the superior intent of vaccination. The astir important crushed is trim the likelihood of terrible illness and to support infected radical from being hospitalized and dying. That's wherefore it's truthful important to beryllium up-to-date with vaccines, to get the archetypal vaccines and past the boosters, due to the fact that radical who are vaccinated and boosted are overmuch little apt to go severely sick and to dice compared with radical who are unvaccinated.

Vaccination besides reduces the accidental of infection, but that hazard inactive exists. For radical who privation to further trim their hazard of contracting Covid-19, different precautions stay important, including wearing an N95 oregon equivalent disguise portion successful indoor nationalist settings, and same-day investigating earlier gatherings, particularly if assemblage Covid-19 levels are high.

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