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Quarantine/isolation: how long does it last and how to maintain he althúde

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Quarantine/isolation: how long does it last and how to maintain he althúde
Quarantine/isolation: how long does it last and how to maintain he althúde
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Quarantine is one of the public he alth measures that can be adopted during a period of epidemic or pandemic, and which aims to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, especially when they are caused by viruses, since the transmission of these microorganisms tend to happen much faster.

During the period of quarantine, it is recommended to stay indoors as much as possible, avoiding contact with other people and avoiding going to closed environments with little air circulation, such as malls, stores, gyms or public transport, for example. example.

Often, the term "quarantine" is confused with "isolation". Although they are very similar, quarantine (or prophylactic isolation) is done by people who may not be infected, but who have been in contact with someone infected, while isolation is done by those who are, in fact, infected.

How long does the quarantine last?

Quarantine time varies depending on the disease you are trying to combat, but is usually determined by the incubation time. This means that the quarantine must be maintained for as long as it can take for the first symptoms to appear.

For example, if a disease has an incubation time of 5 to 14 days, the quarantine time should be set to 14 days, as this is the maximum time required for the first symptoms to be noticed.

Quarantine/isolation for COVID-19

Currently, the recommended quarantine/isolation time for COVID-19 varies by country and individual situation. To know how to act, please fill in your details:

  • option=b, @block-A1"' > I tested positive for COVID-19.
  • option=c, @block-A1"' > I have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
  • option=d, @block-A1"' > I've been in contact with positive case.
  • option=f, @block-F1"' > I've had COVID-19, but I still have symptoms.
  • option=e, @block-A1"' > I want to know more information.
  • country=en, @block-B1"}, {"condition":"option=c", "action":">country=en, @block-C1"}, {"condition":"option=d", "action":">country=en, @block-D2"}, {"condition":"option=e", "action":">country=en, @block-E1"}]' > Portugal
  • country=br, @block-B1"}, {"condition":"option=c", "action":">country=br, @block-C1"}, {"condition":"option=d", "action":">country=br, @block-D1"}, {"condition":"option=e", "action":">country=br, @block-E1"}]' >
  • Self-test.
  • Rapid antigen test.
  • RT-PCR.
  • Restart

    • I have no symptoms.
    • I only have mild symptoms (fever, cough, tiredness, headache, sore throat, loss of tasteā€¦).
    • I have moderate symptoms (very intense cough, some shortness of breath, excessive tirednessā€¦).
    • I'm really short of breath.
    • Restart

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    • No.
    • I did a self-test
    • I did a rapid antigen test.
    • I did RT-PCR test.
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    • RT-PCR for COVID-19: when to do it and results

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    • test=0"' > Negative
    • test=1"' > Positive
    • Restart

      It is possible that your symptoms are a sign of another infection, such as the flu or H3N2, for example. Still, we advise you to repeat the COVID-19 test within the next 3 days. Check out the differences between flu, COVID-19 and a cold.

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    • risk=1, @block-D5"' > I live with the person who tested positive.
    • I have been in direct contact with the positive person (less than 2 meters) for more than 15 minutes and I am a he alth professional or work in an institution for the elderly.
    • risk=0"' > The person who tests positive does not live with me.
    • Restart

      • Yes.
      • No.

      Your contact is considered high risk. You do not need to isolate yourself, but you must maintain all personal protective measures for 14 days, be aware of the appearance of symptoms and perform a COVID test as soon as possible (rapid test or RT-PCR).If the result of the 1st test is negative, you must repeat the test between the 3rd and 5th day after contact with the positive person.

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    • RT-PCR for COVID-19: when to do it and results

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    Your contact is considered low risk. For this reason, you don't need to do isolation, or perform COVID test. However, you must maintain all individual protection measures (such as wearing a mask and avoiding unnecessary travel) and be aware of the appearance of symptoms in the next 14 days.

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    In Brazil

    The time of quarantine or isolation in Brazil varies as follows:

    Quarantine (contact with infected person)

    Persons who have been in contact with another infected person should, whenever possible, quarantine for 10 to 14 days, to assess the emergence of symptoms indicative of COVID-19.

    However, if it is not possible to carry out this period of quarantine, all preventive care must be maintained, to avoid passing the virus to other people, and carry out a COVID test after 5 days after contact.

    Isolation (positive COVID-19 test)

    Isolation must be respected by all people who have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or who test positive. In these cases, the recommended isolation period is 7 days for mild or moderate cases, that is, for people who are recovering at home without needing hospitalization or oxygen supplementation.

    If, on the 5th day, there are no respiratory symptoms (such as cough and runny nose) or fever for more than 24 hours and without the use of medication, a rapid COVID-19 antigen test can be performed. If the test is negative, the quarantine can be ended, however, if the test is positive, the quarantine must be maintained until 10 days are completed.

    In Portugal

    In Portugal, the quarantine/isolation rules vary according to the intensity of the symptoms and the type of contact:

    • Persons with a positive test: must be in isolation for 7 days, in the case of mild symptoms, or for 10 days, in the case of moderate to severe symptoms. If after 10 days there are still symptoms, isolation should be carried out until the symptoms disappear;
    • People who have been in contact with someone infected: 7 days of quarantine are recommended, requiring 2 rapid tests or RT-PCR, one by the 3rd day and the other by the 7th day. If the last test is negative, you can end the quarantine.
    • People who have been in contact with someone infected, but who have had COVID-19 in the last 6 months or who have a booster dose of the vaccine: they do not need to be in quarantine, but they must do a quick test until the 3rd day.

    When to start quarantine/isolation?

    The quarantine period must be counted from the date of last contact with a suspected or confirmed case, or from the date of leaving a place where many cases of the disease have been identified.

    The isolation is counted from the moment there is a positive test for COVID-19 or from the day the first symptoms appear.

    How is quarantine/isolation done

    Quarantine and isolation should be done at home, and it is recommended that contact with other people is avoided as much as possible, which includes not going to other closed environments, such as malls and public transport, for example, to reduce the risk of transmission and contagion between people.

    Inside the house, if possible, some care should also be taken to avoid transmitting the infection to other family members, such as staying in isolation in a room in the house and only circulating in common areas using an individual protection mask. See some precautions to avoid transmission in the case of COVID-19.

    This precautionary measure must be adopted even if the person is apparently he althy and has no signs or symptoms of the disease, but has been in a place where several cases of the disease have been identified and/or has been in contact with suspected or confirmed cases of infection.

    What to do if symptoms appear in quarantine?

    If signs and symptoms suggestive of infection are observed during the quarantine period, it is important to inform the he alth system so that the necessary recommendations are followed, including guidance on the need to go to the hospital or perform a test to confirm the diagnosis.

    How to maintain mental he alth during quarantine

    During the period of quarantine, it is normal for the person who stays closed at home to feel several emotions at the same time, especially negative ones, such as insecurity, feeling of isolation, anxiety, frustration or fear, which can end up harming mental he alth.

    Therefore, it is very important to take some measures that help keep mental he alth up to date, such as:

    • Maintain a routine similar to what was done before: for example, put on the wake-up clock in the morning and dress as if you were going to work;
    • Take regular breaks throughout the day: these can be breaks to eat, but also to walk around the house and get the blood circulating;
    • Maintain communication with family or friends: this communication can be easily done through cell phone calls or using the laptop for video calls, for example;
    • Trying out new and creative activities: Some ideas include making new recipes, changing the layout of rooms at home, or taking up a new hobby, such as drawing, writing poetry, gardening or learn a new language;
    • Do at least one relaxing activity a day: Some options include doing meditation, watching a movie, doing a beauty ritual, or completing a puzzle.

    It is also important to try to maintain a positive attitude and to know that there are no right or wrong emotions, so talking about emotions with other people is an equally essential step.

    If you are in quarantine with children, it is also very important to include them in these measures and participate in activities that are preferred by the youngest. Some ideas include painting, making board games, playing hide and seek or even watching children's movies, for example.

    Is it safe to go outside during quarantine?

    During quarantine, being outdoors is an activity that can contribute a lot to mental he alth and, as such, it is something that can continue to be done, as most diseases do not spread easily through the air. Thus, it is very important to be aware of the transmission of each disease.

    For example, in the most recent case of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was recommended that people only avoid closed places and clusters of people, as transmission occurs through contact with droplets of saliva and respiratory secretions. Therefore, in these situations it is possible to go abroad, just being careful to wear a protective mask whenever possible and not being in direct contact with other people.

    In any case, it is always advisable to wash your hands before and after leaving the house, as the chances of touching any surface outside are high.

    How to take care of the body during quarantine

    Taking care of the body is another fundamental task for those who are in quarantine. For this, it is important to maintain the same hygiene routine as before, even if it is not necessary to be in contact with other people, because hygiene not only helps to keep the skin free of dirt and unpleasant odors, but also eliminates a good part of it. of microorganisms that can cause infections, such as viruses, fungi and bacteria.

    Furthermore, it is still very important to maintain the regular practice of physical exercise, as this is the best way to maintain cardiovascular he alth. For this, there are some exercises that can be done at home:

    • 20 minute full body workout to gain muscle mass;
    • 30-minute glute, abdominal and leg workout (GAP);
    • Training to define abs at home;
    • HIIT Workout at Home.

    For the elderly, there are also some exercises that can be done to maintain joint mobility and prevent muscle mass degradation, such as doing squats or going up and down stairs. See some examples of exercises that can be done in this situation.

    Watch the following video and learn what to do to not gain weight during quarantine:

    How to eat

    During the quarantine it is also very important to try to maintain a diet as he althy and varied as possible. Therefore, before going to the market, it is recommended to check what you have at home and then make a list of all the products you need to buy for the quarantine period.

    Ideally, preference should be given to foods that do not spoil easily or have a long shelf life, such as:

    • Canned: tuna, sardines, corn, tomato sauce, olives, mixed vegetables, peach, pineapple or mushroom;
    • Fish and meat frozen or canned;
    • Dry foods: pasta, rice, couscous, oats, quinoa and wheat or corn flour;
    • Leguminosas: beans, chickpeas, lentils, which can be canned or packaged;
    • Dried fruits: peanuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts or hazelnuts. Another option can be to buy butter from these fruits;
    • UHT Milk, as it has a longer term;
    • Vegetables frozen or canned;
    • Other products: dehydrated or sweetened fruits, marmalade, guava, cocoa powder, coffee, tea, condiments, olive oil, vinegar.

    If you have elderly people, babies or pregnant women at home, it is also important to remember that you may need to buy nutritional supplements or powdered milk formulas, for example.

    In addition, a minimum of 1 liter of water per person per day must be calculated. If it is difficult to find potable water, it is possible to purify and disinfect the water using techniques such as the use of filters or bleach (sodium hypochlorite). See more details on how to purify drinking water at home.

    Can I freeze food for quarantine?

    Yes, some foods can be frozen to extend their shelf life. Some examples are yogurts, meats, bread, vegetables, greens, fruits, cheeses and ham, for example.

    To freeze foods correctly, it is important to place them in portions in a plastic freezer bag or container, putting the product name on the outside, as well as the date it was frozen. Here's how to freeze food properly.

    How to clean food before eating?

    Hygiene when cooking is another very important task during quarantine periods, as it eliminates microorganisms that can end up being ingested.The most essential step is to wash your hands with soap and water before handling any type of food or product, however, it is also recommended to cook all foods very well, especially meat, fish and seafood.

    On the other hand, foods that can be eaten raw and that are out of packages, such as fruits and vegetables, must be washed very well, peeled or, then, immersed for 15 minutes in a mixture of 1 liter of water with 1 tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate or bleach (sodium hypochlorite), which must be washed again with clean water immediately afterwards.

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