Respiratory Illness: Know What to Do

Once people resume normal activities, they are encouraged to continue to help curb the spread of illness b staying up to date with recommended vaccines.

There’s a new message on how people can protect themselves and their communities from respiratory illness by knowing when it’s okay to return to work and school after being sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the new guidelines, released March 1, support returning to normal activities when:

  • Symptoms are improving, AND
  • A fever has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours.

For Covid-19 specifically, the suggested time away from other people has been reduced from five days to the 24-hour fever-free period.

CDC Respiratory Virus Guidance

“With an effective vaccination, improved immunity, and many residents normalizing good hygiene practices, Covid-19 is being treated the same as other respiratory illnesses,” says Joshua Meyerson, Medical Director for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. “While any of these illnesses can still become serious health conditions, the new guidelines show that prevention is working.”

Once people resume normal activities, they are encouraged to continue to help curb the spread of illness by:

  1. Staying up to date with recommended vaccines,
  2. Continuing to practice good handwashing, covering your cough and sneezes, and frequently cleaning high touch surfaces in the workplace,
  3. Opening windows and doors to increase ventilation, when possible,
  4. For those at higher risk, getting tested for influenza and Covid-19 to obtain appropriate antiviral medication to prevent severe illness, and
  5. Maintaining social distancing or wearing a well-fitting mask for 5 days to protect those most at risk for severe illness, including people over 65 and those with weakened immune systems.

States and countries that have already adjusted recommended isolation times have not seen increased hospitalizations or deaths related to Covid-19, according to the CDC.

“While every respiratory virus does not act the same, adopting a unified approach to limiting the spread of disease makes recommendations easier and more likely to be followed,” Meyerson says. “When people follow these recommendations to avoid getting sick, and to protect themselves and others if they do get sick, it will help limit the spread of respiratory viruses and fewer people who experience severe illness.”

To schedule your flu or Covid-19 vaccination, call us locally at 800-432-4121. For more information on the CDC’s new recommendations, go to​