CDC updates guidelines pertaining to respiratory viruses

Published on March 12, 2024


CDC updates guidelines pertaining to respiratory viruses including COVID-19

Recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated recommendations for how people can protect themselves and their communities from respiratory viruses such as COVID-19. This is in part due to a decrease in hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 and also due to an increase in knowledge and understanding of how to combat the illness as well as other respiratory illnesses.

The updated guidance changes the previous 5-day isolation period to:

  • Return to normal activities only when for at least 24 hours symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication.

    The CDC continues to recommend preventative measures and strategies such as:

  • Staying up to date with vaccination to protect people against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. This includes flu, COVID-19, and RSV if eligible.
  • Practicing good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, washing or sanitizing hands often, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
  • Taking steps for cleaner air, such as bringing in more fresh outside air, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors. 
  • Test for respiratory illness when sick, especially to protect those most at risk for severe illness including those over 65 and people with weakened immune systems.
  • In terms of tackling the spread of respiratory viruses, the CDC recommends:

  • To stay home and away from others when sick with a respiratory virus
  • Use available treatments to lessen symptoms and lower the risk of severe illness.
  • For the 5 days after illness, continue to take steps for cleaner air, enhanced hygiene practices, wear a well-fitting mask, and keep a distance from others.

Information above was extracted from the CDC Press Release on March 1st, 2024.

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