still contagious?

still contagious?
how long are you contagious once you get covid? wapo says it’s complicated. the cdc recommends you isolate for at least 5 days, and continue to mask for a full 10
  • a person is most contagious 2-3 days after covid symptoms appear
  • per the cdc’s recommendation, “day 1” is actually a full day after symptoms appear. symptoms appear on day 0
  • the cdc doesn’t require ppl who are isolating to test at all before leaving isolation
check out the cdc’s quarantine and isolation calculator here
    a covid data dispatch op doesn’t like the 5-day rule: the cdc used pre-omicron data to come up with it. it needs to change based on newer studies that show a lot of ppl are contagious after 5 days
    • we know more about omicron than we did in january when the cdc released its isolation guidance. it’s time for another update
    • some experts say omicron can take longer for some ppl to get out of their system
    • rapid tests may not work perfectly, but they’re still the most valuable tool we have to determine if someone is contagious or not
    huffpost writes that most people should assume they’re contagious for *10* days. and with uber-transmissible variants like xbb.1.5 out there, people should be more cautious about spreading covid, especially soon after symptoms appear
    • experts said you’re most likely to spread covid 48 hours before a positive test, and 5 days after symptoms appear
    • w/ more transmissible variants of covid means the time between infection and symptoms is brief. that means new variants spread faster than previous versions of covid
    • if symptoms are gone and an antigen test comes back negative, it’s unlikely you’re gonna infect anyone
    the president of the american medical association says the cdc is using the wrong measure entirely: we should require a negative rapid test to leave isolation
    • the data that the cdc used to create these guidelines came from pre-omicron variants
    • the ama prez says it’s irresponsible to let people return to work and public spaces if we don’t know for sure if they’re contagious or not
    • plus, the lack of a testing requirement from the cdc just adds confusion to their recommendation
    wapo agrees. a negative test to leave quarantine should be standard: after all, it’s what biden did!
    • under the cdc guidelines, a negative test is optional
    • experts believe the cdc should require a negative covid test to go back to normal, since a substantial # of ppl are testing positive after day 5
    • one expert says rapid antigen tests are reliable indicators of whether someone is contagious or not
    but, again, it’s complicated. as npr writes, some ppl who had covid continue to test positive on a rapid test long after they recover
    • experts have criticized the cdc’s guidance, which advises ppl to go about their normal life if they feel fine after 5 days. the experts say only a negative test can say for sure if ppl are contagious
    • according to a harvard study, 27% of ppl test positive on a rapid test after the 5 days. some experts say that these ppl are still contagious, but other people say rapid test results aren’t everything
    experts said a longer course of paxlovid could stop the rebounds. paxlovid is really good at suppressing covid, but the 5-day course may not give pax enough time to prevent the virus from reactivating -- time
    • paxlovid is a protease inhibitor. other antiviral meds that are also protease inhibitors can have infection rebounds, too
    • pax suppresses covid and stops it from replicating. it’s possible someone could still have enough covid in their body by their last day of pax treatment to cause a rebound infection
    • researchers found that increasing the pax regimen by 3-5 days could reduce the risk of rebound 10x
    • but! more studies need to be done on long pax treatments to make sure they’re safe
    and a study from the journal of the american medical association found that 50% of ppl who test positive after 5 days *weren’t* actually contagious -- forbes
    • 50% of ppl who tested positive on day 6 had a negative viral culture
    • the study concluded that a positive rapid test doesn’t necessarily mean you’re contagious. the cdc shouldn’t extend a negative test requirement to ppl leaving isolation
    so a positive test doesn’t *necessarily* mean you’re contagious. you could test positive on a rapid test for up to 14 days. on a pcr test, you could test positive for up to 60 days. and most transmission happens early on in the illness --
    • staying isolated after a positive test may not be possible for everyone. and while it’s possible you can spread covid, the chances are pretty low after 10 days
    • you could continue to test positive bc the omicron variant tends to stay in the upper respiratory tract in vaxxed people, and the weak version of the virus could be continuing to replicate itself
    what’re the tests good for, then? this study in the american society for microbiology says negative tests, at least, are really good at showing someone’s *not* contagious. positive tests, on the other hand, are less useful
    • w/ a negative rapid test, the transmission of covid is really unlikely
    • the study found a negative predictive value of 99.1% in predicting contagiousness
    • the study concludes that using a rapid test is a good way to see if someone infected w/ covid can continue regular activities
    rapid tests still work on omicron variants of covid -- but they’re not perfect. they aren’t as sensitive as pcr tests, so they can be wrong sometimes -- sf chronicle
    • a report of 155 studies found that rapid tests correctly id’d someone w/ covid 73% of the time when they had symptoms and 55% of the time when they didn’t have symptoms
    • the tests were most accurate a week post-infection
    • experts aren’t totally sure if or how omicron variants change the efficiency of the rapid tests
    • they still say rapid tests are generally a good indicator of whether someone’s contagious
    there’s another complication: took paxlovid? cnn writes that with pax rebound -- even without symptoms -- you can still be contagious
    • researchers have found 2 instances where someone w/ a paxlovid rebound infected someone else w/ covid
    • bc of this research, the cdc is asking people who test positive after their 5 day course of paxlovid to isolate for another 5 days
    a scientific american op writes that debates like this are what navigating the new normal is all about -- gauging personal risk and the risk to others
    • biden worked while he battled covid. trump was in the hospital. it just goes to show how far we’ve come in dealing w/ covid
    • there’s little scientific consensus on what the new normal is going to look like in the yrs post-2020. there’s no strict definition of an endemic disease
    • embracing the new normal is about supporting risk-tolerant behavior