COVID: What are the days when an omicron patient is most contagious?

The fourth wave of infections in Jalisco was marked by the arrival of omicron, the new variant of COVID-19 that appeared in South Africa in November 2021.

According to the World Health Organization, ómicron is a much more contagious strain than delta, causing the cases of this variant to grow more quickly compared to the previous strain: only in the last seven days in Jalisco we went from 3,755 confirmed cases in a single day to 5,212.

But what are the days in which a patient with omicron is more contagious?

According to a study by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan, the days when a person with omicron is most contagious they are between day three and six after presenting symptoms.

As reported by the UK National Health Service (NHS), the sick person with omicron can even be contagious a day or two before the symptoms, but “the viral load is high”, that is, the period that represents a greater risk of contagion is between the third and fifth day.

The symptoms of this variant, adds the study, disappear between the sixth and tenth day, points out the study “Self-isolation changes: scientific summary” of this country.

As in the case of Japan, the report “Viral dynamics and duration of positivity of omicron” from Harvard University, in the United States, indicated that the highest positivity of patients with omicron is found up to day six after treatment. onset of symptoms, and that, on average, patients were ill for nine days.

For his part, the infectologist belonging to the National System of Researchers, former Influenza czar, Alejandro Macías, explained that it is also necessary to consider that, since the omicron variant is substantially more contagious, a person who is exposed to a person infected with this strain has a very high probability of being infected “even when that exposure has been very short.”

The risk, he said, is greater if said contact took place without a mask or in a closed or poorly ventilated space. “We can say that for other variants the coronavirus was sometimes forgiving, but with the omicron variant you hardly escape infection if you had contact without a mask or for more than five minutes in a closed space, even if you are vaccinated. Vaccination is still important, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get infected, it’s still important so that you don’t get serious and don’t die,” concluded the infectologist Macías Hernández.



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