Updated guidance from the CDC unites and streamlines recommendations for dealing with a range of common respiratory viral illnesses, such as COVID-19, flu, and RSV.

View CDC's Updated Respiratory Virus Guidance

Prevention Strategies

CDC recommends that all people use core prevention strategies. These are important steps you can take to protect yourself and others:

Learn About Preventing Respiratory Viruses

What to Do If You're Sick

  • CDC’s first recommendation for people who get sick with a respiratory virus is simple: Stay home and away from others.
  • Return to normal activities when symptoms have been getting better overall for 24 hours, and if a fever was present, it has been gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medication.
  • Once people resume normal activities, they are encouraged to take precautions for the next 5 days to curb disease spread, such as:
    • Taking more steps for cleaner air,
    • Enhancing hygiene practices,
    • Wearing a well-fitting mask,
    • Keeping a distance from others, and/or
    • Getting testing to inform your actions to prevent spread to others.

Learn How to Prevent the Spread of Respiratory Viruses When Sick

Special Considerations

There are several special considerations for people with certain risk factors for severe illness.

Learn the Risk Factors for Severe Illness from Respiratory Viruses

Treatment as Prevention

Treatment is a core prevention strategy to lower risk from respiratory viruses.

Learn about Treatment of Respiratory Viruses