Respiratory Illness

Respiratory illness season typically lasts from early fall to mid-late spring. However, respiratory illnesses, like flu, COVID-19, and RSV can be contracted and spread any time of year.

To protect you and your loved ones from respiratory illnesses, you can:

  • Get vaccinated, if available (i.e., updated COVID-19, flu, and RSV) - to find a vaccination location near you, visit vaccines.gov.
  • Follow the 3 Cs: cover your cough and sneezes, contain your germs by staying home when sick, and cleaning your hands.

If you have any questions about respiratory illnesses, including vaccine recommendations or risk of health effects, contact your healthcare provider.

  1. COVID-19
  2. Flu/Influenza
  3. RSV

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This virus can be very contagious and spread very quickly. COVID-19 often causes respiratory symptoms, similar to the flu and pneumonia. It's also important to know that you can have COVID-19 and spread it without having any symptoms.


Isolation Guidelines

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important that if you are diagnosed with the virus, you follow the appropriate isolation guidelines


If you test positive for COVID-19, you should stay home for five (5) days and isolate yourself from others in your home, as you are most likely infectious during your first five days of getting the virus. On days 6-10, individuals who have improving symptoms may return to normal activities but should wear a mask. 


To end isolation, you should follow the guidelines for determining when you can resume normal activities. This should be based on your symptoms.


COVID-19 Vaccine

In 2023, an updated COVID-19 vaccine was recommended for all individuals over 6 months of age. Most people will need a single dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine to be considered up to date.


Those over 65, who are immunocompromised, or children under the age of 5 may be recommended additional doses. You can discuss your vaccine recommendation with your healthcare provider. 


Most private insurances and Medicaid/Medicare will cover the cost for the updated COVID-19 vaccine. For those who are underinsured or uninsured, Linn County Public Health and Eastern Iowa Health Center are part of the Bridge Access Program, which is federal support to provide the updated COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. You can schedule a vaccination appointment at the Linn County Public Health clinic by calling 319-892-6093 or contacting Eastern Iowa Health Center to schedule an appointment at their location.