Respiratory Viruses

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Respiratory viruses are responsible for millions of illnesses and thousands of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States each year. In addition to the virus that causes COVID-19, there are many other types of respiratory viruses, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The good news is there are actions you can take to help protect yourself and others from health risks caused by respiratory viruses.

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

Additional prevention strategies you can choose to further protect yourself and others include: masks, physical distancing and tests.

If your child has respiratory virus symptoms that aren't better explained by another cause, they should stay home and away from others (including people they live with who are not sick). These symptoms can include fever, chills, fatigue, cough, runny nose, and headache, among others. 

Your child can go back to school and normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, both are true:

  • Their symptoms are getting better overall, and

  • They have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication).

Added prevention strategies (such as masks, distancing, and tests) are recommended for the next 5 days.

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