Quarantine Guidelines, Incubation Period, Distribution BA.5 – NBC Chicago

The super contagious Omicron subvariant BA.5 continued its dominance of US COVID cases this week.

But as the most highly transmissible version of the virus yet continues to cause reinfections and re-infections, what does this mean for quarantine and isolation policies and how concerned should you be?

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Will CDC Quarantine COVID Guidelines Change Due to BA.5? Here’s what Chicago’s top doctor says

As a new, more contagious omicron subvariant continues to spread across the United States, some residents are no doubt wondering if federal guidelines have changed when they test positive for COVID-19.

These questions arise as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on quarantine and isolation has remained unchanged since March.

Read more here.

Gov. Pritzker prescribed Paxlovid after COVID diagnosis: Learn more about treatment here

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s office announced Tuesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 after several close contacts during a recent trip to Florida.

Pritzker, who received Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine and received two booster shots, is battling mild symptoms and is following CDC guidelines by working from home, according to his office.

Read more here.

CDC approves Novavax adult COVID-19 vaccine and says shots will be available in the coming weeks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday signed Novavax’s two-dose vaccine against COVID-19 as a primary series for adults, offering people who are unvaccinated the opportunity to receive a vaccination based on conventional technologies , which have been used for more than 30 years.

The CDC’s committee of independent advisors voted unanimously to recommend the vaccine for people ages 18 and older after reviewing the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness during an hour-long public session Tuesday. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky later that night endorsed the recommendation, the final step in the US approval process.

Read more here.

More contagious BA.5 omicron variant accounts for nearly 80% of COVID cases: CDC

A COVID subvariant that has shown it’s better at evading a patient’s immunity to the virus is now responsible for nearly 80% of the cases reported this week in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The BA.5 omicron subvariant is now estimated to account for 77.9% of COVID cases in the United States, according to the latest Nowcast released by the CDC on Tuesday.

Read more here.

How soon could you get COVID again? How BA.5 changes this answer

The question of natural immunity to COVID infection has met with mixed answers since the pandemic began, but new developments involving extra-contagious omicron subvariants may mark another shift in guidance.

The question of how protected someone is after contracting COVID-19 has had mixed answers since the pandemic began, but as supercontagious Omicron subvariants dominate cases in the US, they could mark another shift.

Chicago’s top doctor noted that while the omicron variant itself marked a marked shift in reinfections and bypassed natural immunity to infection with earlier strains, BA.5 similarly evaded immunity to even other omicron infections.

Read more here.

Does the incubation period of COVID change with the BA.5 subvariant? Chicago’s Best Doctor Explained

What does the most contagious version of the coronavirus to date spread across the country mean for the incubation period of COVID and is it changing?

According to Chicago’s top doctor, while there is still a lot developing around the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, she doesn’t think the incubation period is changing, instead she believes some people stay positive longer.

Read more here.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has tested positive for COVID

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has tested positive for COVID, his office said Tuesday.

“After being notified of several close contacts who have tested positive for COVID-19, Governor Pritzker received a positive test result during his routine COVID testing program,” his office said in a statement.

Officials said Pritzker, who is fully vaccinated and double-boosted, has “mild symptoms” and has been prescribed the antiviral drug Paxlovid.

Read more here.

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID Antiviral Paxlovid: How It Works, Its Effectiveness, Who Is Eligible And More

While the focus in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic was on developing vaccines to prevent serious illnesses and infections, companies have also been working to develop drugs that can help vulnerable populations avoid hospitalization or even death from it to avoid the virus.

The drug that has had the most success since its emergency CDC approval has been Pfizer’s Paxlovid treatment, which works in a similar way to the popular antiviral drug Tamiflu.

How does Paxlovid work? How soon do you need to take it? Who is entitled to have it prescribed anyway?

Here’s what we know about the treatment.

What is Long COVID and what are the symptoms?

For some who test positive for COVID, symptoms can last much longer as part of a condition known as “Long COVID.”

Newer variants, including the highly contagious omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which currently make up the majority of cases in the Midwest, are leading to an increase in patients with symptoms, according to Chicago’s top doctor.

Chicago Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said that while the symptoms remain similar to previous cases, there is a noticeable shift.

Read more here.

BA.4, BA.5 and more: Latest look at symptoms and what to expect

With new COVID variants and subvariants behind rising cases in Illinois and other parts of the country, many are wondering if the symptoms will change as more begin to experience them.

Currently, the highly contagious Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are responsible for most of the reported cases this summer.

Read more here.

Incubation period for COVID: how long should you quarantine with the virus?

As COVID-19 cases have continued to spread across the Chicago area in recent weeks, there may be lingering questions about quarantine time and how long patients are contagious.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 counties in Illinois are now classified at “high” community levels for COVID, including many of the greater Chicago-area counties. Another 44 counties across the state are now rated at “intermediate community level.”

Read more here.

How long can you test positive for COVID after recovering from the virus?

Most people who contract COVID-19 are unlikely to have symptoms for two weeks at most, but could test positive months after infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people who contract COVID-19 can have detectable virus for up to three months, but that doesn’t mean they’re contagious.

When it comes to testing, the PCR tests are more likely to continue picking up the virus after infection.

Read more here.

U of I researchers seek patients for ‘Long COVID’ study: Here’s who is eligible

Researchers from the University of Illinois College of Medicine are collaborating on a landmark study that will examine the causes of what is known as the “long COVID” and ways to potentially prevent and treat the disease.

According to a press release from U of I’s Peoria campus, the work will bring together scientists from the school’s Peoria and Chicago campuses, with $22 million provided by the National Institutes of Health in support of the project.

Read more here.

The two latest versions of omicron, the fastest-spreading COVID-19 subvariants to date, appear to evade protection from vaccines and previous infections more easily than any before them.

Why do new COVID variants bring more symptoms? Chicago’s Top Doc Explained

As more people become infected with the highly contagious COVID-19 subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 in the United States, doctors are warning of new, additional symptoms associated with the virus.

Both BA.4 and BA.5 caused more upper respiratory, cold and flu symptoms, including fever, night sweats and sore throat, according to Chicago’s top doctor. Some patients, but not all, experience loss of taste and smell again.

Some doctors and researchers believe that because these new variants spread so quickly, they affect mucosal immunity more often than longer-lasting immunity, explained Dr. Allison Arwady of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Read more here.

What COVID variants are currently spreading in the US? Here’s what’s being tracked right now

From omicron to BA.2 to BA.5 to BA.2.75, the list of COVID variants and subvariants continues to grow, but with newer versions outperforming others, which ones are still in the US and spreading?

Here’s a list of the most common Omicron subvariants that the CDC says are currently spreading, when they arose, what threats they pose, and what those numbers mean.

First thing to do after COVID diagnosis, according to Chicago’s Top Doc

With two more contagious Omicron subvariants gaining ground in the US, you may be wondering what steps to take if you test positive for COVID-19.

With several new subvariants of Omicron proliferating, Chicago’s top doctor is offering advice to residents in the event they test positive for COVID-19.

During her weekly “Ask Arwady” session, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, her advice for residents who may test positive for COVID in the coming weeks and months, including the very first thing to do once they are diagnosed.

Read more here.

Latest information on Super Contagious Omicron Subvariant BA.5

A highly transmissible mutation in the Omicron-COVID variant, known as BA.5, is of global concern as it continues to gain traction in several countries, triggering new waves of cases and, in some cases, hospital admissions.

The surge in case numbers, even as readings remain uncertain due to the availability of at-home COVID tests, has prompted warnings and renewed calls for masking in some places.

So what makes the new variant particularly concerning and what should you look out for?

Here’s what we know so far.

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