Worried about a breakthrough case? Here’s what to do, expect


More than 70% of cases in Oregon are among unvaccinated

In the booster era, what does it mean to be fully vaccinated? The CDC and other health experts disagree. (Photo: Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than 70% of the nearly 5400 cases of COVID recorded in Oregon in the week ending December 18 were among unvaccinated people, the Oregon Health Authority said Thursday.

Statistics also show the rate of the coronavirus in unvaccinated people is 4 times higher than those who are vaccinated.

However, there are breakthrough cases — that is, vaccinated people who still get COVID-19. In that same week, 29.4% of new cases in Oregon were breakthrough cases. Cumulatively, there have been 50,882 breakthrough cases in the state. However only 4.4% of all those with breakthrough cases were hospitalized and only 1.3% have died.

So, what do you do if you have a breakthrough case?

The Washington Post reports that “as the omicron variant spreading rapidly, the United States is all but certain to see a sharp rise in breakthrough coronavirus infections among vaccinated people. These cases were relatively rare in the pre-omicron days, but the new variant has shown an ability to slip past the body’s first line of immune defenses. That means many Americans who have gotten the shots will at some point test positive.”

OHA: What you need to know about breakthrough cases

Health authorities agree your best defense against a breakthrough infection is to get the booster shot.

But if you do get a breakthrough case with the omicron variant, authorities say the symptoms are mild to moderate — cough, sore throat, muscle pain, low fever, possibly headaches, nasal congestion, sneezing.

You’re right – those are all illness signs most closely connected to colds or allergies.

So if you get sick, get a PCR test. At-home test kits are also good at spotting cases with symptoms. If you test positive, your doctor may want a lab test for actual confirmation.

OHA: How to find a testing site

Tell your family and friends right away. Then isolate for about 10 days if you’re vaccinated — and those 10 days begin once you first develop symptoms. Wear a mask and, obviously, maintain social distance.

If you’re not vaccinated, isolation should last a full 14 days, officials said.

Most breakthrough cases don’t need any special care. But consult your doctor for details in your individual case. Get rest, drink plenty of fluids.

Of course, if you’re still not feeling well or worse, consult your doctor again.

Thursday cases and deaths

Another 1350 new confirmed/presumptive cases of COVID-19 were recorded in these 34 Oregon counties:

Baker (3), Benton (24), Clackamas (114), Clatsop (9), Columbia (19), Coos (17), Crook (5), Curry (3), Deschutes (106), Douglas (27), Gilliam (1), Harney (1), Hood River (6), Jackson (104), Jefferson (5), Josephine (35), Klamath (10), Lake (1), Lane (76), Lincoln (2), Linn (43), Malheur (7), Marion (109), Morrow (7), Multnomah (345), Polk (28), Sherman (1), Tillamook (6), Umatilla (25), Union (7), Wallowa (3), Wasco (3), Washington (164) and Yamhill (34).

The overall case count now sits at 410,565.

Another 8 deaths were connected to COVID-19, bringing the total death toll to 5598. Those deaths were in people ranging in age from 61 to 95 who lived in Union, Polk, Josephine, Clackamas, Benton and Washington counties.

Hospitals continue to be near capacity. Only 7% of adult non-ICU beds are open across the state, while 10% of adult ICU beds are available.

Experts continue to stress the effectiveness of vaccines and the availability of them throughout the state.

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