It remains crucial to inform your acquaintances about a Covid infection

More than three years after the initial emergence of Covid-19, the virus is once again surging. Due to the inconsistent nature of Covid-19 testing and reporting of positive cases, tracking the virus’s prevalence in the community has become challenging. Wastewater surveillance has emerged as a valuable method to gauge its spread, as highlighted by Dylan Scott in . According to Biobot Analytics, Covid-19 presence in US wastewater has doubled as of late July. Additionally, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates a 12.5 percent rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations between July 23 and July 29.

This summer has also introduced a new subvariant of the virus, EG.5, informally named Eris, which has become the dominant strain. Rachel DuRose from reports that EG.5 originated from the omicron variant. Although its symptoms closely mirror those of other omicron subvariants—such as cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, loss of taste or smell, and headaches—EG.5 might possess higher contagiousness.

With readily available at-home testing, individuals can now self-administer tests and receive results within minutes. This shift places the responsibility on the individual to notify their network if they test positive. The CDC’s updated recommendations only call for contact tracing in specific healthcare and high-risk congregate settings. Consequently, the onus falls on the Covid-positive individual to communicate the diagnosis to their contacts.

Dr. Donald Yealy, Chief Medical Officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, notes that discussing such matters is not only widely accepted nowadays but is also anticipated. He emphasizes that it’s an act of kindness to share this information. While it’s unnecessary to inform everyone in your contact list, it is important to notify those who are most likely to have been exposed to the virus through you.Dr. Yealy further advises notifying individuals you were in close proximity with indoors—whether masked or unmasked—within a six-foot radius. This also applies to those who were within arm’s reach outdoors during the two-day period preceding your symptom onset or the two-day period before you underwent testing, if asymptomatic.Dr. Yealy highlights that the transmission of respiratory infections, including Covid-19 and the flu, requires close proximity and sustained interaction. Thus, if you’ve spent significant time in close contact with someone, it’s essential to inform them about your positive test result.