Infectious Disease

WHO and CDC Update COVID-19 Guidance

The World Health Organization has released updated clinical guidance for patients with severe acute respiratory infection when COVID-19 is suspected.

The document covers infection prevention and control; screening and triage; management of mild, severe, and critical COVID-19 as well as pregnant women, infants, breastfeeding mothers, older individuals who are infected; and specific anti-COVID-19 treatments.

“[The document] is not meant to replace clinical judgment or specialist consultation but rather to strengthen clinical management of these patients and provide to up-to-date guidance,” they wrote.

Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have updated their interim guidance for mass gatherings and community events, recommending the postponement or canceling of all gatherings of 50 people or more for 8 weeks.

“Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing.  When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual,” they wrote. “This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses.”

These recommendations supersede previous recommendations detailing considerations for postponing gatherings of 250 individuals or more, but “is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.”

—Michael Potts

World Health Organization. Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected. Updated March 13, 2020. Accessed March 16, 2020.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Get your mass gatherings or large community events ready - interim guidance for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Updated March 15, 2020. Accessed March 16, 2020.