CDC May Change Recommendation to Shorten 14 Day COVID-19 Quarantine Length

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon reduce the optimum 14 days length of time it had recommended previously to quarantine after the potential exposure to the Covid-19.

CDC official, Henry Walke, incident manager for Covid-19 response, said that they are changing the recommendations for previously suggested quarantine period from 14 days to between 7 -10 days, including a test to confirm that the person is negative for Covid-19 after this time period.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 14 days of self-quarantine after the potential exposure of Covid-19 coronavirus infection. However, these recommendations may soon change. Sarah Krouse and Betsy McKay while reporting to the Wall Street Journal, said,

“CDC could shorten this recommended length of time to make it easier and more likely for people to comply. That could mean cutting the 14 days down to a Scaramucci, which would be 10 days, or perhaps even down to seven-tenths of a Scaramucci.”

Source: District Health Department

Nonetheless, speculations are that the Covid-19 coronavirus testing won’t allow to reduce the quarantine length. However, it may help in determining whether quarantine can be or cannot be switched over to isolation.

Up till now, the recommended duration of 14 days for quarantine was decided because the presumed incubation period of the Covid-19 coronavirus tends to range between 2 to 14 days. The incubation period is defined as the optimum time period that the person takes to develop symptoms after being exposed to the virus.

The median incubation period recorded for this virus is between four to five days, implicates that about half of all individuals, who infected with Covid-19, may start to show symptoms by Day 4 or 5 if they do end up developing symptoms.

Concerns are being raised whether the quarantine period should be changed or not. In Wuhan city of China, a study of 425 patients, published in the New England Journal of Medicine back on March 26, uncovered that nearly 95% of the patients had an incubation period of 12.5 days or less.

Similarly, in another study, published on May 5 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, analysed number of cases emerged between January 4 to February 24 outside of Wuhan, China, revealed that the median incubation period found was around 5.1 days and that 97.5% of those individuals who developed symptoms, showed symptoms by 11.5 days of being exposed to the virus.

There, reducing the recommended duration of quarantine from 14 days to 10 days might help in catching the majority of people who may develop symptoms.

Reducing the quarantine period, may make the process more convenient, economical, and may allow more people to comply to the SOPs and issued guidelines and recommendations of quarantine by CDC.

“Hopefully, people would be better able to adhere to quarantine if it was, for example, seven to 10 days,” Dr. Walke said.

Source: CDC

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