(CNN Spanish) — Now that so many people are getting COVID-19 again, you may be wondering what measures you should take to avoid contracting it or, if you test positive, what protocol should you follow .
If you have been vaccinated and have a booster, are you protected? If you have recently had COVID-19, how likely is it that you will get infected again? Given the rise in cases, should you cancel your trips or stop living your social life again? And if you test positive for coronavirus, should you continue to isolate yourself? how late?
Some of the most frequently asked questions emerging this summer amid a surge in cases around the world are a spike induced by the omicron subvariant BA.5 that has become more infectious and better able to ward off infection-causing immunity. and natural diseases.
Here we help you answer all these concerns, given that COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for the time being, and is now a part of our daily lives.
First you have to be careful.
While it is true that hospitals have not been overcrowded with the recent spikes in Covid-19 cases, indicating the powerful effect of vaccines in differentiating infection from severe disease, the reality is that immunity wanes over time. , and there seems to be some heft with the new subtypes that currently prevail (BA.4 and BA.5).
So if you prefer to stay vigilant and reduce your risk of infection, consider this series of recommendations based on the advice of Dr. Lena Wen, CNN medical analyst, emergency room physician and professor in the School of Health Policy and Management. Keep it Public Health at George Washington University Milken Institute.
- Stay up to date on vaccinations, even if you have already had COVID-19.
Dr. Wayne explains that the BA.5 subvariant “may be partially immunosuppressed.” However, the vaccine protects you from serious diseases.
Furthermore, he assured that re-infection by COVID-19 is “definitely possible”, especially after the three months you have.
“Those who had a pre-Omicron variant, such as delta or alpha, are more susceptible to re-infection with the Omicron sub-variant. We are also seeing re-infection in people who had the original Omicron variant and now have BA. Getting 5.” Wayne.
- Use mask in closed public places
“Just because the mask mandate has been lifted, it doesn’t mean people shouldn’t wear them,” says Wayne, who encourages people who care to wear them in high-risk environments such as airport security lines. find uncomfortable.
If you are an immunocompromised person, it is best to use a high quality mask, N95 or equivalent, fit it snugly and wear it at all times.
- Attend or hold your meetings outdoors, they are still less risky than indoors.
“Coronavirus is airborne, and the more air circulation you have, the better,” says Dr. Wayne, reminding him of the importance of ventilation. “(a space) with open windows and doors would be less risky than a small, closed room with all of them stuffed together.”
If you’re an immunocompromised person, consider eating before attending a meeting so you don’t remove your mask, only when you’re outside, Wein recommends. In the end, “it all depends on how much you want to avoid Covid-19 versus the benefit they would get from participating.”
Should you isolate yourself if you are infected?
Guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that if you were exposed to COVID-19, you should get tested five days later, even if you do not have symptoms.
If you test positive, you will need to self-isolate for at least five days.
After this time and if symptoms are improving, you should wear a mask when in contact with other people or in public places for at least 10 days or until the test is negative.
You should not travel until your test result is negative.
Avoid being around people who are more likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19.
But for clear guidance on what to do, the CDC has provided a tool to help you determine how long you should quarantine, depending on whether you have mild symptoms. or no symptoms.
Enter the CDC calculator here. Once inside, you will have to answer the options that best suit your case. Among other things, they will ask you if you have been in contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19 or if you have tested positive yourself, if you are up to date with your vaccinations, if you have symptoms and to date. .
Dr. Wayne says a “one testing policy” is the best option because people can remain infected for varying periods of time.
“I would encourage people to do daily home testing starting from day four and end isolation if the home rapid antigen test comes back negative.”
Should you cancel your trips?
After a year and a half of strict confinement and strong restrictions that have paralyzed airspace in the world, people have returned to travel either for pleasure or because they have to attend work meetings or conferences, but they don’t live with Covid-19. What could you do to avoid being caught? On th eway?
Dr. Wayne says travelers have two options: reduce the risk while traveling and recognize that you may be exposed to and become infected with COVID-19 during your travels.
To reduce the risk, you should take the same precautions as mentioned above such as wearing a mask indoors and avoiding taking it off when surrounded by many people in unventilated events.
With information from CNN’s Katia Hayter