Saturday, June 25

How to avoid reinfection with Omicron



Omicron, the last known variant of SARS-CoV-2, has spread at breakneck speed across the planet because it multiplies 70 times faster in the tissues lining the airways than its predecessors. The risk of reinfection is also greater since it seems to have a better ability to evade the immunity conferred by having previously suffered from the infection. So getting infected on purpose is not a good idea. There are already studies that suggest that the third dose of the mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, are effective in preventing the spread of this variant, although there is a debate among immunologists about whether this reinforcement is necessary in young and healthy people.

In any case, it is not necessary to rely on being vaccinated since contagion is possible. Whether you have already passed Omicron or not, you should keep these in mind. guidelines to minimize the risk of reinfection or of infecting family and friends who have not yet been infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (
) from the USA recommend:

-Get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as you can, as well as the reinforcement when appropriate.

-Make a correct and consistent use of a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth.

-Keep a interpersonal distance of at least 1.5 meters.

-Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

-It is important to know when to get a screening test to be informed and avoid infecting other people.

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and dry them well. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

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If you are going to meet with people who do not live together indoors, before, after and during the meeting, the
Ministry of Health
recommends permanent cross ventilation: with doors and/or windows opening opposite each other or at least on different sides of the room, to promote air circulation and ensure efficient sweeping throughout the space.

If you are passing Omicron and feel fit, the CDC recommends that you be the sick person who is responsible for cleaning and disinfectingr surfaces and items after each use. If you are not feeling well and someone else who is not infected has to do the cleaning, you should put on a mask and ask the sick person to do the same before entering the room. It is also very important to open the doors and windows that face the outside to increase air circulation.

The crockery and utensils of the person who is sick should be washed afterwards with soap and hot water or in the dishwasher. And the person who handles them must wash their hands after picking up the patient’s utensils as well as after throwing the garbage with the patient’s waste.

If the patient is already recovered, the CDC advises waiting “several hours” before cleaning and disinfecting. If it is done in less than 24 hours, you must enter the room and the bathroom with a mask and the windows open to clean and disinfect.

If the cleaning is carried out between 24 hours and 3 days after the patient’s recovery, it is not necessary to disinfect, it is enough to clean the surfaces of the areas used by the sick person. And if more than 3 days have passed, the CDC ensures that no additional cleaning task (besides routine) is necessary in the areas used by the patient.

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To minimize risk, you should also clean carpets, curtains and upholstery with hot soapy water or cleaning products designed for use on these surfaces and dry thoroughly. If you use the vacuum cleaner in the room of a sick person or in which they spent 24 hours before their recovery, wear a mask when vacuuming.

For do laundry, and this includes sheets and towels, use the maximum allowable water temperature and dry them completely. If you are going to handle dirty laundry from a sick person, wear gloves and a mask. Then don’t forget to clean the laundry baskets and wash your hands.

And in times of Covid, another important point is the care of an element that passes through our mouths on a daily basis: the toothbrush. Although it is common sense, it is worth remembering that to avoid contagion of any virus, toothbrushes should not be shared. nor keep them in the same boat with the heads glued. The Spanish Society of Periodontics (
) also recommends keeping the brush away from the toilet and close the toilet lid before flushing the cistern. “Every time someone flushes the toilet, some of the spray will fly out of the toilet and onto the brush,” they warn.

The brush should be changed at least every three months and even sooner if the bristles wear out. But if you have passed the Covid, the SEPA advises exchange it immediately for a new one.

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