You’ve simply realized that you simply had been uncovered to somebody with COVID-19, and now you too could have the virus in your system. Some questions you might need out of the gate: at what level throughout the incubation interval do you change into contagious, for those who occur to be contaminated — and the way ought to that dictate what you do subsequent?
“In case you are uncovered to somebody who has COVID-19, it is necessary to [quarantine] your self from others straight away for 14 days,” mentioned Michael Richardson, MD, a medical director at One Medical, who’s primarily based out of Boston. Meaning staying at residence, avoiding contact with anybody exterior your family, and sporting a masks for those who do want to exit. “It is because you possibly can begin to develop signs inside two to 14 days after publicity, and might nonetheless be contagious earlier than you even develop signs,” Dr. Richardson mentioned.
This, in fact, relies on the kind of publicity. “Assuming that it is a ‘true’ publicity, and there may be transmission and an infection, you might be doubtless most contagious early within the sickness when you’re beginning to get signs,” Sandra Kesh, MD, deputy medical director and infectious illness specialist at Westmed Medical Group in Buy, NY, advised CelebrityPie. What does true publicity imply? Contact inside six toes of an contaminated individual for at the least 15 minutes.
It is troublesome to pin down precisely while you would change into contagious, however consultants have a common sense of the timeline. “There are often a pair days between publicity and infectiousness,” Dr. Kesh defined. “Individuals not often get signs immediately after publicity; typically, there’s a 5 to seven day incubation interval, and after that’s while you want to fear about contagiousness.” She continued: “Transmission from publicity as early as two days is uncommon; nevertheless, after two or extra days, the chance goes up.”
This aligns with the Facilities For Illness Management’s steering, which places the incubation interval at two to 14 days after publicity, although the company notes that “the onset and duration of viral shedding and the period of infectiousness for COVID-19 are not yet known.” As a result of it is not solely clear how lengthy chances are you’ll be contagious, for those who do develop signs in that 14-day interval, it is necessary that you simply stay in isolation till you’ve got been with no fever for at the least 72 hours, your different signs have improved, and it has been at the least seven days because you started feeling sick.
Ought to You Start Contact Tracing, Even If You Have not Developed Signs?
“As soon as you will have been uncovered, you must make anybody you had contact with after the time of publicity conscious,” Dr. Kesh mentioned. “You do not want to allow them to know for those who noticed the individual the day after an publicity, however after that time, I feel it is most secure to let different individuals you will have had contact with know you had been uncovered.” If nothing else, it helps them assess their very own threat.
Extra importantly, for those who do develop signs — and particularly for those who take a look at constructive for COVID-19 — it is necessary to take motion on contact tracing. “When you change into unwell with COVID-19, you must notify anybody with shut contact to you — lower than six toes away for greater than 15 minutes — that they need to quarantine for 14 days, get examined, and put on a masks to stop doable transmission to others,” David Cutler, MD, household medication doctor at Windfall Saint John’s Well being Middle in Santa Monica, CA, advised CelebrityPie. It is the one means to curb the unfold.
Have in mind: the 14-day quarantine is in place as a result of “the typical time for somebody to develop signs usually falls inside 14 days after publicity,” Dr. Richardson defined. “When you do not develop signs, you might be doubtless within the clear.” Simply bear in mind to proceed taking precautions to cut back your threat of being uncovered once more.