Charting an #Omicron infection. The amount of virus that builds up in someone’s body is known as viral load.
In general, people are thought to be most infectious when their viral loads are high https://t.co/LGJUDsBuJH
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) January 22, 2022
Since people are asking:
… Research suggests that the original version of the coronavirus and early variants had an incubation period of about five days, on average. The Delta variant seems to move faster, with an average incubation period of about four days. Omicron is swifter still, with an incubation period of roughly three days, according to a recent C.D.C. study.
The amount of virus that builds up in someone’s body is known as viral load. In general, people are thought to be most infectious when their viral loads are high.
In a recent study of the Alpha and Delta variants, researchers found that people tended to reach their peak viral loads about three days after infection and clear the virus about six days after that, on average.
Whether Omicron follows the same pattern remains to be seen. In one preliminary study, researchers found that Omicron infections were about a day shorter than Delta infections and resulted in slightly lower peak viral loads, on average. But the difference might be due to higher rates of pre-existing immunity — as a result of vaccination or prior infection — among the people who were infected with Omicron. Another research team found that among vaccinated people with breakthrough infections, Omicron and Delta produced similar levels of infectious virus…
Earlier in the pandemic, people were advised to use a rapid test five to seven days after a potential exposure to the virus. Given Omicron’s shorter incubation period, many experts now recommend taking a rapid test two to four days after a potential exposure. (They also recommend taking at least two rapid tests, about a day apart, in order to increase the odds of detecting an infection.)
People who are testing to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others, for example at an upcoming gathering, should test as close as possible to the event itself, experts said…