The National Ministry of Health reported that In the last week, from May 8 to 15, 33,989 infections were reported, double the cases of the first seven days of the month: 17,646. After these official data, the owner of the health portfolio, Carla Vizzetti, confirmed that the country is experiencing the fourth wave of infections.

In this framework, the authorities and experts reminded citizens of some key concepts to deal with this disease that, thanks to the vaccination campaign, in most cases it is mild or asymptomatic. However, in some patients it can be complicated, especially considering whether there are previous risk factors that could aggravate the situation.

According to specialists, all current cases in the world are caused by the Omicron variant and, in several countries such as Argentina or the United States, a lineage of this variant known as BA.2 predominates. The good news is that “Omicron is less likely than Delta to cause serious illness”he claimed Timothy Brewerprofessor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The range of possible symptoms is wide but focuses on the upper respiratory system. Because BA.2 replicates more in the airways above the lungs rather than deeper within those organs, doctors are seeing less inflammation in the chest and lungs and more sore throats and congestion. Pain, cough, shortness of breath, and fever are also common symptoms in those who get sick with COVID.

Between 48 and 72 hours after possible exposure to COVID or at the first sign of any symptoms, people should have a rapid antigen or PCR test. Here, COVID can look a lot like a cold, the flu, or allergies, but the treatments for each are different. Therefore, it is key to take an anticovid test, either at home or in a medical or testing center. Experts assure that PCR tests are more sensitive than rapid antigen tests that are usually done at home, which are also usually sufficient.

If the first test is negative, people should wait two days (behaving cautiously in the meantime) and take another. If it is COVID, the viral load will increase in that time. “Nothing in life is perfect, and neither are rapid antigen tests, but they are pretty good at detecting contagious levels of virus”it states Lucy McBridepracticing primary care physician in Washington, DC.

When people test positive, it’s a good idea for them to call a primary care doctor if they have one. Physicians can provide treatment guidance and update medical records. They will also report the result to public health authorities to be included in the case count. At a minimum, people should track the date symptoms began and the date of a positive test.

Most people who get COVID will be fine at home. “If you’re vaccinated and boosted and generally healthy, people do very well.”McBride says. Over-the-counter medications will not treat COVID directly, but they can help control symptoms. Doctors recommend acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen for fever reduction and pain relief, which are only meant to be taken for short periods because they have more side effects than acetaminophen and aren’t safe for everyone.

All over-the-counter medications should be taken as needed and not beyond the recommended dosage instructions. “Dosage and frequency really depend on the patient’s underlying health conditions and should be discussed with the person’s doctor,” says McBride.

Doctors say their biggest concern that the disease is getting serious occurs when a patient is having trouble breathing. If people get out of breath easily while moving around the house, they should call a doctor. A pulse oximeter, available at most major pharmacies, can be a helpful, noninvasive way to test blood oxygen levels (it’s like a high-tech clothespin that clips onto your fingertip). , but the device is not necessary.

“One recommendation is that they can measure oxygen saturation with an oximeter, which is easy to measure and assess. It is placed on the middle finger of the hand, and then it is evaluated if the oxygen saturation with normal values ​​of 97 and above is maintained or begins to decrease. In that case, you should consult your doctor.explained to Infobae the doctor Myrna Biglioneresearcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research on Retroviruses and AIDS, which depends on the University of Buenos Aires and CONICET, and member of the Argentine Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

“On the other hand, we find cases of people who seem to them to be asymptomatic and who do not feel short of breath. If you do a tomography, you can find pulmonary infiltrate. It is called sweet dyspnea and it is the dissociation between the symptoms and the clinical picture. that is seen by image. The oximeter is key because it tells us the oxygen saturation that the patient has, “adds the specialist.

If someone feels well enough and has been fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours, it is generally safe to return to daily routine after five days of isolation. But the CDC recommends wearing a mask for another five days. Ideally, people should retest at home starting five days after the first positive test until they get a negative. In total, this could take ten days or more.

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