January 19, 2024
Amount of Respiratory Illness Is Elevated or Increasing in Most Areas of the Country
Respiratory Virus Data Channel Weekly Snapshot
The amount of respiratory illness (fever plus cough or sore throat) causing people to seek healthcare is elevated or increasing across most areas of the country. CDC’s Respiratory Virus Data Channel provides a summary of the key viral respiratory illness findings for COVID-19, flu, and RSV. CDC continues to anticipate this fall and winter respiratory illness season will likely result in a similar number of hospitalizations as last season. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself against serious outcomes of COVID-19, flu, and RSV (if eligible for RSV vaccine).
Where to Find FREE COVID-19 Testing
CDC’s Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program will continue to provide no-cost COVID-19 testing for uninsured people who are symptomatic or exposed. More than 19,000 ICATT sites will also offer no-cost COVID-19 vaccines to adults without health insurance and adults without full vaccine insurance coverage. This website helps you find ICATT COVID-19 testing locations and contact information for the providers. You can also visit your state, tribal, local, or territorial health department’s website to find the latest local information on testing.
Benefits of Antiviral Treatment for COVID-19 Outweigh Potential Risks of Rebound
If you get sick with COVID-19 and are at higher risk for severe illness, antiviral treatments are available that can reduce your risk of hospitalization and death. But it’s important to get on treatment within 5-7 days after you first develop symptoms.
Rebound, a return of symptoms or a new positive test after having tested negative, has been reported in people with and without the use of COVID-19 antivirals. Current evidence suggests rebound presents as mild symptoms 3-7 days after initial illness resolves. If you are at high risk for severe COVID-19, treatment benefits outweigh the potential risks of rebound.
Updated Guidance for Healthcare Providers on Increased Supply of RSV Immunization to Protect Babies
Nirsevimab is an RSV antibody immunization recommended for preventing severe RSV in infants and some young children. Supply of nirsevimab was limited earlier in the season, and CDC provided guidance to healthcare providers on how to prioritize the limited supply. But with recent increases in supply, CDC now advises healthcare providers to return to recommendations put forward by CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on the use of nirsevimab in babies and young children. Infants and children recommended to receive nirsevimab should be immunized as quickly as possible. RSV antibody immunization is recommended for all infants who are younger than 8 months, born during or entering their first RSV season, and some children between 8-19 months who are at increased risk for severe RSV and entering their second RSV season. Most infants whose mothers received an RSV vaccine do not need to also get an RSV antibody.