People working while sick with Covid-19, fooled by mild symptoms | Health

LOS ANGELES — Experts warn that employees could report to work sick with COVID-19, with symptoms so mild that even healthcare workers are fooled.

It has long been known that people with mild or no symptoms can transmit the coronavirus to others. But health experts are now noting that more people with very mild disease are working anyway, exacerbating the risk of transmission.

Dr. Ralph Gonzales, associate dean of UC San Francisco, said at a recent campus town hall that the latest dominant omicron subvariant, BA.5, can cause symptoms so mild that workers on health still work despite illness. Some people don’t test positive until four or five days after they start showing symptoms of COVID-19.

“We are finding that more and more employees have been on site with several days of symptoms. So please try not to work with symptoms – even if they are mild – because we see quite a lot of mild symptoms with BA.5, and people often don’t even realize they are sick. “said Gonzales.

While the number of cases is down sharply from the highs of the last wave, the risk of exposure remains high. Almost every county in California has a high rate of coronavirus transmission, defined as having 100 or more cases per week per 100,000 population.

When case rates are at this level, “it is always recommended to layer on the precautions that we have all become familiar with during the pandemic, including masking indoors, staying home and getting tested in the event of a illness, make good use of the outdoors and maximize ventilation indoors and get tested before congregating where vulnerable health people may be present in order to protect them,” Dr. Muntu Davis, head of of Los Angeles County Health.

Number of LA County job sites reporting clusters of coronavirus cases continues to drop; there were 144 in the most recent week, down from 152 the previous week.

At sites where there are outbreaks, Davis said, the factors that typically increase the spread of the disease are people at work not knowing they have a coronavirus infection and a lack of masking.

That’s “why it’s really important for people to make sure that if they feel sick, even with mild symptoms, test themselves and make sure they don’t have COVID,” he said. he declares. “There have been studies that have shown in the past that even up to about 56% of people didn’t know they had an infection.”

This is especially vital now that the omicron variant and its family of substrains have proven particularly difficult to avoid, even for those who have long dodged coronavirus infection.

A review of infections from UC San Francisco’s Office of Population Health found that through early 2022, less than 10% of campus employees and students had ever had COVID-19 illness, Gonzales said. . But the different waves of ultra-contagious omicron variants have dramatically changed the cumulative infection rate.

By early spring, 20% of university employees and students had had a coronavirus infection, according to data shared by Gonzales. And by midsummer, 45% had been infected, Gonzales said.

An Axios/Ipsos poll recently found that about half of American adults have had a coronavirus infection at some point.

The most recent seroprevalence estimate for California — the share of residents thought to have been infected with the coronavirus at any given time — was 55.5% in February, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. and Prevention from the United States. This is a clear increase from the 25.3% estimated last November, before the widespread arrival of omicron.

The proportion of Californians infected at any given time has almost certainly continued to rise throughout this year, given the steady wave of newly reported infections.

Meanwhile, the pandemic’s impact on hospitals has diminished as omicron’s summer surge subsided.

As of Thursday, there were only seven California counties with a high community level of COVID-19 as defined by the CDC, which generally indicates both a high case rate and a high level of new positive weekly hospital admissions. to the coronavirus.

The counties still at the high COVID-19 community level on Thursday — Kern, Ventura, Monterey, Merced, Imperial, Madera and Kings — are home to about 2.9 million Californians, representing about 8% of the state’s population. In contrast, two weeks ago, 14.4 million Californians lived in the 21 counties at the high community level of COVID-19.

The counties that left the high level of the COVID-19 community this week were Fresno, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Humboldt, Sutter, Yuba, San Benito and Tuolumne. Those that left the tier the previous week were Orange, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Solano, San Luis Obispo, Napa and Mendocino.

Southern California counties at the average COVID-19 community level include Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino and Santa Barbara. Riverside County is at the low COVID-19 community level.

On Friday, Los Angeles County was recording about 3,000 daily coronavirus cases for the previous seven-day period – less than half of the summer peak of nearly 6,900 cases per day, although still well above the spring low of about 600 cases per day.

On a per capita basis, LA County reports 206 coronavirus cases per week per 100,000 population.

Coronavirus-positive hospitalizations are trending down. As of Thursday, there were 827 hospitalized patients positive for the coronavirus at the 92 hospitals in LA County, a decrease of 12% over the previous seven days. State models predict continued declines over the next month.

LA County reported 96 Covid-19 deaths for the seven-day period that ended Friday, up 16% from the previous week’s count of 83. Deaths from covid19.

More than 33,000 cumulative Covid-19 deaths have been reported in LA County since the pandemic began, including about 1,500 in the past five months. Before the pandemic, about 1,500 Angelenos typically died from the flu in an entire year.

Some experts expect an autumn and winter surge of Covid-19, as has happened over the past two years, but it’s unclear how bad it may be. Officials are also concerned about the possible return of a major flu season for the first time in the pandemic era.

The White House has signaled that it expects a new omicron-specific booster to be available in September. Health officials are urging people to get their flu shots and be up to date on their Covid-19 shots before winter.


©2022 Los Angeles Times. Go to Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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