what to do if you are contagious?


DURATION COVID. The 7th wave, on the way out, can still disrupt the holidays. What is the incubation period for Covid-19? How long do the symptoms last and should I stay in isolation if I test positive? We take stock.

[Mis à jour le 29 juillet 2022 à 12h32] As the month of August approaches, the 7th wave is gradually taking its way out… But thousands of contaminations are still recorded every day, with a positivity rate which was still 29.7% on July 28, against 33.3% on July 21, as revealed by the latest epidemiological update from Public Health France. With the threat of a Covid-19 infection, it can be difficult to fully enjoy the summer rest. It is indeed still very likely to rub shoulders with a person who has contracted Covid, whether they know it or not, as some are asymptomatic. In order not to let the virus spoil your holidays, it is best to leave well informed about the sanitary measures to be taken in the event of contamination… It would be a shame to confine yourself longer than expected! Therefore, how long after being in contact with a person positive for Covid-19 can the symptoms be triggered or, at the very least, can the virus develop? Should I self-isolate if I test positive for Covid? How long ? We will explain everything to you.

What is the incubation period for Covid?

This was the big question at the start of the Covid-19 epidemic: what is the incubation time for Covid? In other words, what is the time between contamination and the appearance of symptoms? If the contagious phase of a patient positive for Covid-19 was initially 8 days on average, and began two days before the onset of symptoms, the appearance of the Omicron variant reduced this duration. With the Omicron variant, “replication is faster, as already confirmed in January 2022 in Les Echos by Pr Alain Fisher, the “Monsieur vaccine” at the head of the Vaccine Strategy Council for France: “Everything is getting shorter, including including the symptomatic phase – or asymptomatic but contagious”. According to cross-checked data from the majority of epidemiologists, it takes approximately three days between contamination and the appearance of symptoms linked to the Omicron variant.

How long should I stay in isolation if I am infected with Covid?

Since the appearance of Covid-19, given its contagiousness, it is very strongly recommended to isolate yourself if a screening turns out to be positive. However, the durations vary according to the profiles of the infected people, as explained by the Health Insurance. Duration which begins from the date of the onset of symptoms or the date of the taking of the positive test:

  • Child under 12: 7 days
  • Person with a complete vaccination schedule (3 doses or 2 doses and 1 infection): 7 days
  • Person not vaccinated or with an incomplete vaccination schedule: 10 days

If, during the period of isolation, work cannot be continued remotely or if the symptoms are too severe to be able to telework, it is possible to obtain a work stoppage from health insurance, directly online. The terms and conditions are to be discovered in our dedicated article below.

To be certain of being able to get out of his period of isolation without taking the risk of contaminating anyone around him, Health Insurance asks to carry out a PCR or antigen test. It must be checked that it is negative after five days for fully vaccinated people, against seven days for those not or partially vaccinated. Moreover, the absence of clinical signs of infection may be sufficient to exit isolation.

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