Friday, December 8

Covid-19: with the increase in cases by Ómicron, when and what test you have to do

Learn about the pros and cons of the existing tests against the new variant.

Learn about the pros and cons of the existing tests against the new variant.


We are once again living moments of great uncertainty regarding the course of the pandemic. A couple of days ago, the health authorities of The United States reported that the Omicron variant has become the predominant in the territory, since it is estimated that currently, 73% of positive cases of Covid are caused by it.

Although little is known about Ómicron, there is data that this variant of Covid, theoretically, would be less deadly but it is much more transmissible, which would unleash a large series of infections.

Ómicron seems to have arrived at the least favorable time of year due to the Christmas and New Year celebrations, which is why the WHO and some other organizations came out to say that once again, we had to be cautious with the celebrations and that the best it was staying home.

But there are people who do not want to spend another year being alone on these dates or cancel their vacation plans. For this and above all, to be sure, when in doubt of a possible contagion the best It will be a coronavirus test.

How effective are the Covid tests against Omicron?

According to Rachael Piltch-Loeb, a researcher at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, Covid tests are still very effective, despite the fact that you have been infected with the new variant of the virus.

It is also important that you know that Ómicron does not come to change anything in terms of their operation; that is, you will have to wait a while due to the incubation period of the virus. Previously, the CDC recommended, with the other variants, waiting 5 to 7 days to have it done to have accurate results; however, preliminary data suggest that With Omicron, people begin to show symptoms 2 to 3 days after infection.

Another important point about The tests against Ómicron is that they can detect the virus also 2 days after exposure.

On which test is better than another against Ómicron, always one PCR will be more reliable than the others; but nevertheless, Some doctors agree that given the speed with which this new mutation of the virus spreads, these tests would not be as reliable or would not make much sense, since it takes 2 to 3 days to obtain the results, time that in recent days has increased given the demand in laboratories.

So, if you have very close plans, the best thing is to do an antigen test, since you will have results in a period of 15 to 30 minutes after having done it and the result will be accurate, as long as you have a high load of the virus at that time.

Therefore, if you are fully vaccinated, a positive rapid test can ultimately be a better indicator than a positive PCR test to see if you are spreading the virus and pose a threat to the oldest in the family.

You should take into account that a negative rapid test probably means that you are not infectious at the time, although the virus can continue to incubate inside you. But experts caution that this is not a certainty, given the potential to result in false negatives. Studies have shown that rapid tests are capable of detecting up to 85% of Covid-19 cases, which means there is a lot of room for error.

In case you decide to take an antigen test and it gives you a positive result but you have symptoms, then you should continue taking a test. The US health authorities have recommended performing 2 or more rapid follow-up tests, leaving at least 24 hours between each one. If the tests are still negative, you likely have another type of respiratory infection. But that is not a guarantee. It is suggested to isolate yourself and use a mask until you have no symptoms.

It may interest you:

* Covid: Cities that canceled their Christmas events and those that are in we will see
* How the mRNA vaccines that saved us from covid can defeat other diseases and turn us into “superhumans”
* Period of isolation for health workers with covid-19 shortened after advance of Ómicron

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