County Health provides guidelines for respiratory illnesses

(Photo via Unsplash).

Press release from the Cortland County Health Department. 

On March 1st, 2024 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released streamlined recommendations for all respiratory viruses - including Flu, COVID-19, and RSV – to help community members lower their health risk from these viruses. This guidance provides a unified approach to how community members should protect themselves from any respiratory virus.

All community members should follow these prevention strategies on a regular basis:

All community members should follow these prevention strategies if they believe they have a respiratory illness (i.e. if they are have fever, chills, fatigue, cough, runny nose, headache etc.):

  1. Your symptoms are improving overall AND
  2. You have not had a fever (without the use of fever reducing medication)
  • When you go back to normal activities take additional prevention steps for five days including; good hygiene, cleaner air, masks, physical distancing, and testing.
  • Seek health care promptly for testing and treatment if you are at high risk for severe illness (i.e. older adults, young children, people with compromised immune systems, people with disabilities and pregnant people).

Additional prevention strategies community members can follow are:

Cortland County Medical Consultant Douglas MacQueen, MD, MS, FIDSA stated: “The new CDC guidance on respiratory viruses reflects that the threat from COVID-19 is not what it was two or three years ago. While it is still widespread, it is more like any other cold or respiratory virus for most people. COVID-19 can still kill people who are elderly, have weakened immune systems, severe lung or heart disease, or are severely overweight. People with one of those conditions should consider wearing a mask when respiratory infections are common in the community or if they are around people who are sick. They should be tested for COVID and influenza if they are ill, and treated with antiviral medications if they test positive for either infection. Lastly, they should keep up to date on influenza and COVID-19 vaccines. Remember, regular exercise is the best way to keep your heart and lungs healthy which will help you if you have one of these infections!”