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How long are you contagious after covid

(36 Posts)
DaisyRose50 Tue 01-Nov-22 14:27:22

Hi folks. We went on holiday early October. Wore masks on flight and return journey but got covid symptoms two days after returning. Mostly temperature, aches and pains, sneezing, mild cough. Tested positive. Symptoms have disappeared apart from lack of appetite and unpleasant taste in the mouth. I have a post nasal drip anyway so that continues. On day 13 now and still showing a faint line on the lateral flow. My query is am I contagious, have isolated the whole time and now starting to get anxiety symptoms. Looked on the internet but no definite answers - lots of ‘experts’ disagreeing. Anyone else tested positive for this long. Many thanks for any help you can give. Daisy

rosie1959 Tue 01-Nov-22 14:47:01

I had Covid last week was only positive for three days but it was a very minor illness
Even in the days when isolation was in forced that was for a maximum of 10 days. If I remember correctly I had the virus back in January again no real symptoms but I was positive for 12 days but came out of isolation day 10
You are highly unlikely to still be contagious

M0nica Tue 01-Nov-22 14:47:55

Yes, I returned from holiday feeling under the weather and then tested for COVID. I had it for over a fortnight.

I worked on the assumption that I was infectious while there was still a faint line on the test. When it goes on - and on, like mine did - and yours is, it feels endless, as if you will never be free of it, but you will, and for the sake of everyone round you, it is always bestnto be cautious. DH got it at the same time and only had it for 4 days, which was infuriating!

MayBee70 Tue 01-Nov-22 14:55:21

I looked after my grandchildren last week for a couple of days: only the second time I’ve done so since the start of the pandemic. Youngest one had a cough which he’s had for ages and I now have a bad cold: sore throat, sneezing. No temperature or muscle aches. I can only have caught it from my grandson as I don’t go anywhere. Is it possible that it’s not a cold but covid? I don’t feel particularly ill.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 01-Nov-22 14:59:03

Maybee maybe do a test? I had the same symptoms last weekend as I had when I had Covid, but this time I tested negative each day, so probably just a cold.

rosie1959 Tue 01-Nov-22 15:05:45

I think the only way to confirm Covid is to test obviously. Both my infections were very minor something I would have taken no notice of before
I have just ordered a batch of tests from Boots but pretty sure many will be carrying on as normal now untested as it does seem to produce common cold symptoms.

Fleurpepper Tue 01-Nov-22 15:16:31

Yes, testing is the only way. I do wish people would test, isolate and report.

rosie1959 Tue 01-Nov-22 15:24:33


Yes, testing is the only way. I do wish people would test, isolate and report.

As far as I know there is nowhere to report to anymore

Fleurpepper Tue 01-Nov-22 15:27:48

Which is utterly shameful, and dangerous.

rosie1959 Tue 01-Nov-22 15:42:19


Which is utterly shameful, and dangerous.

But is it ? we have mostly all been vaccinated the Covid infection which in most ranges from flu like symptoms to very mild cold like symptoms. We do not report these illnesses.
There had to come a point where free testing finished I don’t think we are any different from other countries in this
What is the point of reporting it anymore who would benefit.
Trends are still being tracked by the ONS

M0nica Tue 01-Nov-22 16:14:21

The symptoms of COVID seem to encompass anything and everything. When DH, DD and I returned from a short cruise feeling just a bit under the weather, COVID never even occurred to us. Between us we didn't have a single one of the symptoms listed on the government site, just felt under the weather.

It was only because DD went on the cruise line site to see what other people were saying about our very enjoyable holiday and found quite a number saying they had come home with COVID, that she tested, but not expecting a negative test because none of us had a COVID symptom, but she was positive and so were we.

I think it is always best to keep away from other people if you are clearly unwell. Other people do not want your bad colds, viral infections, flu or COVID. I know this is less easy for those who work, but working from home has made that easier for many.

I will continue to act as I do now.

DaisyRose50 Tue 01-Nov-22 16:46:26

Many thanks for all your replies ladies. It’s difficult isn’t it. To be honest I had a virus at the beginning of 2020 before lockdown etc. It lasted 8 weeks and the doctor just kept saying I would need to “wait until it’s gone”. No mention of isolating, mask wearing etc and to be honest I felt much more poorly then. Now I seem to be spending my life worried sick I’m going to spread the dreaded covid. I haven’t left the house at all and am getting really anxious about the whole thing - it just seems never ending. I know some people who haven’t bothered to keep testing but my conscience won’t let me do that. If someone could reassure me I’m not contagious I think I’d be less anxious but as I said the internet just comes up with so many different answers. Think I’ll give it a couple more days then maybe give the surgery a call. I don’t like bothering them but hopefully they will be able to give me more information. I know how you feel MOnica - my husband had a headache for one day but that was it and he has tested negative each time. Like you say it’s infuriating to say the least. Anyway many thanks again and for those of you who definitely have covid I hope you are better again very soon. Best wishes to you all, Daisy

Rosie51 Tue 01-Nov-22 16:59:15

Unfortunately DaisyRose50 nobody can reassure you that you're not contagious without growing a culture from a test swab. It is extremely unlikely you are still contagious, but I tested positive for many more days than you and decided to self confine until I tested negative. I just felt that if I wouldn't visit vulnerable relatives 'just in case' then I shouldn't risk infecting others. Having nearly gone completely stir crazy, I wouldn't blame you for going out, but would suggest wearing a mask until you do test negative. Hope you test negative very soon.

MayBee70 Tue 01-Nov-22 17:24:37

I did a test which was negative. I thought it would be because, although grandson had a cough my DIL works for the NHS and tests on a regular basis. On the very rare occasion when I do go anywhere I wear a FP13 mask anyway so should hopefully be protecting myself and others. Having the children was one of the very few situations in 2 1/2 years when I was at risk of catching covid.

SueDonim Tue 01-Nov-22 18:13:32

I was shocked to learn recently that if you’re still positive on a LF test you can indeed spread Covid. I was under the impression that once ten days had passed, you could resume normal life.

Apparently, confusion has arisen because it’s possible to test positive on a PCR test but not be infectious. The same does not apply to LF’s - if you have enough of the virus to turn both lines pink, you have enough to infect others.

It’s a difficult conundrum, when people need to resume normal life, but are worried about harming others. sad

varian Tue 01-Nov-22 18:15:40

I do think that we should all be able to get an answer to this question based on scientific data, but has the government ever given us the answer?

choughdancer Tue 01-Nov-22 18:33:02

I've tested positive since Monday last week. Although I am usually happy in my own company, as I live on my own I haven't spoken to a real person (apart from on the phone) since then, and am feeling quite lonely! But I do think it is important to stay in until I test negative; it would not be fair to risk other people getting it from me. One thing puzzles me; you cannot report testing positive to anyone 'in authority'! I cannot understand why this is.

MayBee70 Thu 03-Nov-22 23:07:50


I've tested positive since Monday last week. Although I am usually happy in my own company, as I live on my own I haven't spoken to a real person (apart from on the phone) since then, and am feeling quite lonely! But I do think it is important to stay in until I test negative; it would not be fair to risk other people getting it from me. One thing puzzles me; you cannot report testing positive to anyone 'in authority'! I cannot understand why this is.

You could download the ZOE app. They’re still showing statistics for covid cases.

nanna8 Thu 03-Nov-22 23:18:10

It is all very vague here as well. Half the people don’t bother reporting it now so we have no idea of how much is around. We do occasionally get told of the number of deaths per week due to Covid which is frightening enough because it means the problem hasn’t just gone away. People no longer wear masks and I hear a lot of coughs when I go shopping but there is no way of knowing who has Covid.

MayBee70 Fri 04-Nov-22 00:49:01

Did you have a bad flu season in Australia?

nanna8 Fri 04-Nov-22 05:55:33

Not really, though there is a bad cold and cough very like Covid around.

ElaineI Fri 04-Nov-22 08:56:42

Everything is a bit vague now. If we test and are positive we still report it and can go out after 5 days even if still positive. I wouldn't though. When we had it we were positive for 9 days and 11 days so we stayed at home. Trouble is that people's work don't follow that now. DD2 is a nurse and she still requires 2 negative tests before going back to work. DD1 is a teacher and doesn't. I have had a bad virus for a week - coughing, runs, exhaustion and sore throat have tested negative 3 times. Had Autumn boosters 3 weeks ago. Goodness knows what it is but unpleasant. I think you have to go with what your employer says if working and if not wait till you are negative.

M0nica Fri 04-Nov-22 08:59:47

*nanna8. We do have accurate information on the incidence ofCOVID as the ONS has been doing regular sampling of the population since the pandemic begun.

Here is a link that explains in great deal the methodology used and the reliability of the ensuing figures

These figures are used in many of the government documents used to inform us about the incidence of the disease and also in the media

MissAdventure Fri 04-Nov-22 09:00:04

My next door neighbour works at a hospital and has been hounded to go back before time.

Occupational health have had to intervene and remind those in charge that its unacceptable.

growstuff Sat 05-Nov-22 05:00:01

nanna8 I think it's important that people don't become paranoid. Equally, I think it's important that people understand the risks involved.

I haven't had Covid. My risk of being seriously ill if I caught it are quite high, so I've adjusted my lifestyle to keep away from high risk situations. That's my choice. I understand how it's transmitted and I take every precaution I can to mitigate. I still go out, but I wear an FPP2 mask in high risk areas. People need to be aware of their risk and care enough about others to keep away from those who might be at higher risk of serious consequences. I'm not sure that people always are.