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How long can I be infected with COVID-19? What to know as the BA.5 subvariant circulates – NBC Chicago

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Have you recently experienced a bout of COVID-19 and are still testing positive despite following federal recommendations for isolation and masking? Therefore, people may receive positive test results longer than other subvariants.

If I test positive after a period of isolation and wearing a mask, does that mean I’m still contagious?

Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should quarantine for five days, which is said to be the most contagious. After that, if your symptoms improve, you can leave the house, but you must wear a mask strictly for another five days.

According to Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Alison Alwadi, the risk of spreading COVID drops significantly after day 10, including for people with lingering symptoms.

“If you’re generally feeling well, especially if you have a persistent cough, or if you’ve had the virus and a little bit of a cough tends to eventually go away, you’re still unlikely to be spreading the disease,” the doctor explains. did.

A recent Boston University study found that only 17% of people were likely still infectious six days after their first positive test. A University of Chicago Medical Center study published earlier this year contradicted the CDC’s recommendations. More than 40% of vaccinated healthcare workers were found to test positive for COVID-19 5 to 10 days after symptoms began.

According to the CDC, data suggests that patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain contagious within 10 days of symptom onset. Patients with severe to critical illness resulting from COVID infection may be non-infectious 20 days after symptoms first begin.

Months after being infected with COVID-19, it is possible to test positive, especially when PCR testing is used.

“They keep picking up a dead virus in their noses for weeks, but you can’t grow it in the lab. You can’t spread it, but it can be positive.” ”

If 10 days pass and you still aren’t feeling well, Arwady recommends continuing to wear a mask and taking another COVID test.

“If it’s negative, that’s another piece of information that suggests that you are very unlikely to be infected at that point.” But those tests are pretty good…”

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