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As the eighth wave of Covid continues to grow and temperatures drop, testing is the only way to know if you are infected or have a simple cold (photo illustration taken in Guiyang, China on September 7).
CORONAVIRUS – A ” the resurgence “. In the middle of the week, the executive board agreed that the months of calm on the Covid-19 front are behind us. ” The incidence rate exceeds 570 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with a reproduction rate R of 1.2 “, pointed out government spokesman Olivier Véran and also called for wearing a mask in transport.
This can be seen in the statistics published by Santé Publique France. The public body announced on Wednesday, October 12 that it had identified 73,639 cases the previous day, raising the seven-day average to 56,947 cases per day. This means that this eighth wave is coming a little closer to each one of us.
Except that in this month of October, when autumn sets in forever, Covid is not the only virus spreading. Bronchiolitis appears on the landscape earlier than expected, the seasonal flu shows up, not to mention the traditional colds. Many people these days wonder what they might have caught when they start coughing, running a fever or running a runny nose. Without rushing into the laboratories like last year.
Between Omicron and a cold, the symptoms are often the same
A finding that is increasingly true as the population becomes vaccinated, receives booster doses and becomes accustomed to the presence of the virus. Thus, as recently written by New York Timesquotes University of California virologist Peter Chin-Hong, with BA.5, the most circulating subvariant of Omicron this fall, people with Sars-CoV-2 suffer less severe symptoms than at the time of the first waves.
As with the flu or a cold, sufferers now often experience general fatigue, difficulty breathing, cough and fever. But much less than before a loss of taste or smell, symptoms which in 2020 and 2021 quite clearly indicated a Sars-CoV-2 infection.
Result: the only way to be fixed is to be tested, RT-PCR remains the most convincing.
Isolation, positive test and sick report
As a reminder, in case of symptoms that provoke Covid, the French health authorities actually invite people to carry out a screening test and to isolate themselves while reinforcing barrier movements (wearing a mask, working remotely as much as possible, limiting social interactions…).
And if you only needed a self-test that turned out to be positive, the Ministry of Health advises you to remain isolated while you confirm it at the pharmacy (via an antigen test) or in the laboratory (PCR). The latter is the most effective for detecting Covid, as it is more sensitive, as the genetic material is amplified in the laboratory.
When the person with symptoms tests positive, they must remain in isolation for seven days, or ten if unvaccinated. Then a negative test after five days makes it possible to break the isolation early (or seven for people without a complete vaccination schedule). It should also be noted that in case of excessive symptoms or the inability to work remotely, a positive test makes it possible to obtain a layoff online, thanks to a dedicated service set up by the health insurance.
Has Covid become a common cold?
But in connection with symptoms that are normalizing, can we therefore consider that Sars-CoV-2 has become a common virus, a common cold? The question arises because the world is currently getting used to the presence of Covid, to the point that Joe Biden, for example, is talking about an epidemic. “done” in USA.
On the one hand, and as explained in the columns of HuffPost virologist Bruno Lina, “Any time you can avoid an infection, even if it’s mild, it’s better. There is never a short-term benefit to being infected with a pathogen. »
In addition, doctor Christian Lehmann adds at Release that since the beginning of 2022, Covid has killed far more people than the seasonal flu, and that it causes serious long-term forms that are still poorly understood. “Hearing disorders, attention disorders, intense fatigue, breathing difficulties, malaise, speech and concentration difficulties…”, the practitioner cites the lasting consequences of a Covid infection, which, admittedly, rarely occurs, but which still deserves to be treated differently than a simple cold. And therefore must be tested.
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