New research suggests that 5 days after symptoms start may no longer be the right time to end quarantine. Instead, a negative test result is the appropriate standard.
The Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is highly contagious and has been associated with a recent spike in infection.
However, the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthcare workers diagnosed with COVID-19 can return to work within 5 days if they do not. sick. sick. symptoms, or only mild and progressive symptoms.
Notably, healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 can return to work even if they do not have a negative result on a rapid antigen test. This raises the question of whether 5 days is a safe time to end quarantine.
After infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus will begin escaping into the environment about 2-3 days before the patient begins to develop symptoms. This is also the process that leads to disease or infection. Peak viral shedding usually occurs the day before symptoms appear.
The infection duration averaged 3 days. Rapid antigen tests are extremely sensitive to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in nasal secretions.
Some studies have even shown that a strong positive result on an antigen test indicates a high amount of virus in the body.
According to a study published on the medical website news-medical.net, scientists evaluated the test results of medical staff at a major medical center in the city. All participants were fully vaccinated and were not immunocompromised.
[Warning about possible taste or smell disturbances after taking COVID-19]
People who tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus from December 2021 were also selected for the study. This was also when the Omicron variant spread rapidly.
All health care workers with COVID-19 can return to work centers when symptoms resolve or when only mild symptoms (such as cough or loss of smell) are present. In particular, these employees must all test negative before returning to work.
During participation, medical staff performed rapid antigen testing using the Quidell Quickview kit as early as day 5 of illness. The first day of onset will be the date of onset of symptoms or the date of examination without symptoms.
From January 2 to January 12, a total of 260 healthcare workers were tested within 5-10 days of being sick. Of these, 43% tested positive within 5-10 days. On day 6, approximately 58% of employees tested positive, the highest positivity rate in this study.
Only 26% tested positive on days 8 and 9. Among those who tested positive for the first time on days 5-6 of recovery, 49% had a viral load. refined. Highest draw in the test.
Most people who tested positive the first time also tested positive a second time, with 56% testing positive a second time 6-10 days after being sick. Among health care workers, 53 percent of those who received booster shots tested positive.
More than 40% of healthcare workers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are healthy and able to continue working with positive outcomes for 5-10 days from the date of illness.
People who received a booster shot were almost three times more likely to test positive on day 5 and twice as likely to test positive on their first test.
However, voluntary participation was also a limitation of the study, as not all healthcare workers reported daily test results. Many non-medical factors can also affect the length of the test.
Health care workers who test positive are more likely to infect others because antigen test results also show how well the virus can reproduce. Scientists are still working to verify this association with the Omicron variant.
Omicron is very different from previous SARS-CoV-2 virus variants. The time from symptom onset to peak viral load also varies.
This study suggests that 5 days after symptoms appear may no longer be an appropriate time to end quarantine. Instead, a negative test result is the appropriate standard.
Research has also shown that a large proportion of people with COVID-19 are still contagious 5 days after being sick. This is quite different from a symptomatic situation.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is at risk of rapid spread if an infected person re-enters the community or returns to work within 6 to 10 days of becoming ill.