CDC shortens isolation time for COVID-19 patients in new guidelines - Hindustan Times
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CDC shortens isolation time for COVID-19 patients in new guidelines

Mar 02, 2024 11:32 AM IST

New CDC guidelines bring a glimmer of normalcy to COVID-19 isolation. Recovered individuals can resume normal activities one day after fever subsides.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has revised its isolation guidance for COVID-19 patients, reducing the time they need to stay away from others.

Four vials with the "Nuvaxovid" COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax. REUTERS/Frank Simon/File Photo(REUTERS)
Four vials with the "Nuvaxovid" COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax. REUTERS/Frank Simon/File Photo(REUTERS)

According to the new guidelines, people who have the coronavirus can resume their normal activities one day after their fever is gone.

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The agency’s Director, Dr. Mandy Cohen, said in a statement that this change reflects the progress made in preventing severe outcomes from COVID-19.

“However, we still must use the commonsense solutions we know work to protect ourselves and others from serious illness from respiratory viruses—this includes vaccination, treatment, and staying home when we get sick,” he stated clearly.

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According to previous CDC guidelines…

The previous isolation guidance, which required asymptomatic cases to isolate for five days, was issued in Dec. 2021 and has not been updated since then. The new policy was reportedly being considered last month, as the infection rates were dropping.

The CDC data shows that the US has experienced a significant decline in COVID-19 cases — during the week of Feb. 17, only 17,300 people were hospitalized, and 510 people died from the virus. COVID-19, which was the third leading cause of death in the country at the beginning of the pandemic, fell to 10th place last year.

The new guidelines, however, do not apply to workers in nursing homes and other healthcare settings. They should follow the existing recommendations to isolate for at least seven days after the onset of symptoms, and to test negative before returning to work, according to the CDC.

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CDC asking to embrace proper precautions

The agency also advises sick people to take extra precautions in the first five days after getting infected. They should stay home until 24 hours after their fever subsides, keep up with their vaccinations, wear a mask and practice social distancing.

“While every respiratory virus does not act the same, adopting a unified approach to limiting disease spread makes recommendations easier to follow and thus more likely to be adopted and does not rely on individuals to test for illness, a practice that data indicates is uneven,” the statement reads.

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