Reduce the spread of respiratory viruses

Respiratory viruses increase in the fall and winter. Using several layers of protection helps to reduce your risk of getting and spreading infection.

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About respiratory viruses

While respiratory infections occur year round, there's a significant increase in the fall and winter months when people spend more time inside. This means several respiratory viruses are commonly circulating at the same time, including:

Our health care system may experience strain with the increased circulation of respiratory viruses and shortage of health care workers.

Who is at high risk

Everyone is at risk of getting sick from respiratory viruses. Some people are at risk of experiencing more serious complications if they:

Preventing the spread

Respiratory viruses spread in several ways. For example, a respiratory virus can spread from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or it can spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. That's why using several layers of protection is the most effective way to help reduce your risk of getting and spreading viruses.

It's important to:

By reducing the spread of these viruses, we help:

Learn more about:

Getting vaccinated

One of the most effective ways to help protect yourself from becoming severely sick is to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu (influenza) vaccine. The COVID-19 and flu (influenza) vaccines are available for those 6 months of age or older and both vaccines can be given at the same time.

If you or your infant are at high risk of severe outcomes, talk to your health care provider. It's recommended that you discuss protective options for RSV that may be available.

Learn more about:

What to do if you become ill

Most people who become ill with a respiratory virus experience mild symptoms, including:

Mild to moderate symptoms can be treated with rest, fluids and over-the-counter medications for pain, fever or cold and flu symptoms.

If you're worried about your symptoms or are at high risk for severe outcomes, consult your health care provider. They may prescribe treatments, or recommend steps or medications you can take.

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