(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 you should follow.
If you are vaccinated and have the booster, are you safe? If you recently had covid-19, how likely is it that you will be reinfected? Given the increase in cases, should you cancel your trips or stop having a social life again? And if you test positive for the coronavirus, should you continue to isolate yourself? for how long?
These are some of the most frequently asked questions emerging this summer amid a surge in cases around the world, a spike fueled by the omicron subvariant BA.5 that has turned out to be more contagious and better able to circumvent immunity generated by infections. vaccines and natural disease.
Here we help you answer all these concerns, considering that covid-19 is here to stay, at least for a while, and is now part of our daily lives.
First of all, you have to be careful.
While it is true that the recent spikes in covid-19 cases have not been accompanied by an overcrowding of hospitals, illustrating the powerful effect of vaccines in distinguishing infection from severe disease, the reality is that immunity it decreases over time, and there seems to be some evasion with the new subvariants that currently predominate (BA.4 and BA.5).
So if you prefer to be cautious and reduce the risk of contagion, take into account this series of recommendations, based on the advice of Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst, emergency room doctor and professor of health policy and management at the School of Public Health at the George Washington University Milken Institute.
- Be up to date on vaccinations, even if you have already had covid-19.
Dr. Wen explains that the BA.5 subvariant “may be partially immune-evasive.” However, the vaccine protects you against serious diseases.
In addition, he assures that reinfection by covid-19 “is certainly possible”, especially after the three months you had it.
“Those who had pre-omicron variants like delta or alpha are susceptible to re-infection with omicron sub-variants. We are even seeing re-infections in people who had the original omicron variant and are now getting BA.5.” Wen.
- Use masks in closed public places
“Just because mask mandates have been lifted doesn’t mean people shouldn’t wear them,” says Wen, who encourages those who find them uncomfortable to wear them in higher-risk environments like airport security lines. and during embarkation and disembarkation.
If you are an immunocompromised person, it is best to use a high-quality mask, N95 or equivalent, fit it well and wear it all the time.
- 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. Wen, reminding her of the importance of ventilation. “(A space) with open windows and doors will be less risky than a small, closed room with everyone crammed together.”
If you’re an immunocompromised person, consider eating before you attend the meeting so you don’t remove your mask, only when you’re outdoors, Wen recommends. In the end, “it all depends on how much you want to avoid covid-19 versus the benefit they would get from attending.”
Should you isolate yourself if you get infected?
The guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States says that if you were exposed to covid-19 you should get tested five days later, even if you have no symptoms.
If you test positive, you will need to self-isolate for at least five days.
After this time and if the symptoms are improving, you should wear a mask when you are 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 get seriously ill from covid-19.
But for clearer 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 at all.
enter here to the CDC calculator. Once inside, you must answer the options that best suit your case. They will ask you, among other things, if you were in contact with someone positive for covid-19 or if you yourself have tested positive, if you are up to date with your vaccinations, if you have symptoms and the dates.
Dr. Wen says that “a testing policy” is the best option since people can remain infected for different periods.
“I would encourage people to do home testing daily starting on day four and end isolation once the home rapid antigen test is negative.”
Should you cancel your trips?
After a year and a half of strict confinements and strong restrictions that paralyzed the world’s airspace, people have returned to travel either for pleasure or because they have to attend work meetings or conferences, but what could they do to avoid catch covid-19 on the way?
Dr. Wen says that travelers have two options: reduce risk while traveling and assume that you will be exposed to and could contract covid-19 during your trip.
To reduce the risk you should take the same precautions as mentioned above such as wearing the mask indoors and avoiding taking it off when surrounded by many people at unventilated events.
With information from CNN’s Katia Hetter