the incubation period refers to the period between contamination and the appearance of the first symptoms of Covid-19. Not to be confused with the contagious phase which lasts 8 days on average and begins about 2 days before the onset of symptoms according to the latest information announced by the Ministry of Health. But with Omicron, the variant most present in France, everything goes faster: the symptomatic phase as asymptomatic but contagious, as well as the incubation times.
Contagion and incubation period, what differences?
Omicron remains the majority Covid variant in France. It strikes the population through its BA.5 sub-lineage which replaces the BA.2. And this variant is indeed the more contagious of the Covid compared to the previous ones: Alpha, Delta. In addition, one can contract Omicron twice. Its contagion does not appear before the diagnosis (test) or the first symptoms but rather during the first week, once the positivity is confirmed.
An important element of the Omicron variant accelerates its circulation: its incubation time is shorter, around three days instead of four to five with Delta.
Covid-19: are we contagious during the incubation period?
During the incubation period of the virus, the subject may be contagious. He may carry the virus before the onset of symptoms or when weak signals appear. It is therefore difficult for caregivers or home nurses to know if they are contaminated. But also when they are contaminated, and by whom, if they have been in contact with several positive people. Which for most of them means testing themselves almost every day.
the Ministry of Health confirmed on June 29, 2022: contagiousness exists during the incubation period. “During this period, the subject may be contagious: he may be a carrier of the virus before the appearance of symptoms or weak signals”. The risk is always present, and the longer and closer the contact, the greater the risk of contamination (more than 15 minutes, less than two meters). This is the reason why barrier measures must be applied, in particular respect for distancing and wearing a mask in closed and crowded places.
“With a virus as contagious as BA5 starting to take over, distancing measures, wearing a mask and vaccination reminders are essential“, already estimated on franceinfo on June 29 Imad Kansau, infectious disease specialist at the Antoine Béclère hospital in Clamart. “We are not yet at saturation in our hospital services, especially in intensive care, but it can quickly become a constraint”, Do not forget to get vaccinated if you are eligible.As a reminder, the campaign has been open since April 7 to people aged 60 and over as well as to immunocompromised people.