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The following respiratory germs are currently active in Utah:
Pertussis is a highly contagious illness that causes spells of uncontrollable coughing. Often these coughing spells end with a deep “whooping” sound as the person tries to catch their breath. Pertussis is a serious illness that can be fatal in infants. There are effective pertussis vaccines.
Unfortunately, outbreaks of this preventable disease are on the rise, due in part to the fact that many children are not vaccinated or are not fully vaccinated.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a common bacterial cause of respiratory infections in school-age children and young adults. It is active year round at low levels.
Enterovirus includes several groups of viruses that mainly affect younger children. Outbreaks of enterovirus are common in daycares, schools, and camps. Hand, foot, and mouth disease—one of the viruses in the coxsackie group—is an especially frequent visitor to group settings. It typically brings symptoms such as fever, headache, sores (in the throat and mouth) and rash (on the hands, feet, and diaper area).
Rhinovirus is the main culprit behind the common cold. Illness usually starts with a runny nose, sore throat, and sneezing and may go on to include headache, cough, and muscle aches. Most rhinovirus infections are mild, but they can sometimes lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia — especially in babies.
Adenovirus refers to a group of common viruses that mostly affect younger children. Daycares and schools often have outbreaks of adenoviruses, which can cause respiratory symptoms (sinus or throat problems, cough) and gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea, vomiting). Illnesses are usually mild, but they can sometimes lead to serious problems — especially in babies.
Parainfluenza (PIV) refers to a group of 4 common viruses. Most illness is mild, requires no treatment, and goes away on its own. However, PIV is also one of the most common causes of croup. (Croup is airway inflammation that causes a strange, barking cough.) Babies and young children are more likely than older children to develop croup, bronchiolitis, or another serious illness from PIV.
Seasonal Influenza infections cause a variety of symptoms that start suddenly. Usually, a flu only makes you feel rotten for a few days. However, it can be dangerous for young children, older adults, and others with certain health conditions. To protect yourself and your community, you need a flu shot every year and it is not too late to get yours.
RSV season is in full swing in Utah. RSV is a common virus that causes infection in the lungs and breathing passages. It affects people of all ages, and in older children and adults usually causes only mild cold-like symptoms. In babies and young children, however, RSV is often more serious and may require treatment, especially if it causes bronchiolitis or another complication.
Coronaviruses are common viruses that most people get some time in their life. Human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate infection in the lungs and breathing passages. It affects people of all ages, and in older children and adults usually causes only mild cold-like symptoms. In babies and young children, however, coronavirus infections can be more serious and may require treatment, especially if it causes bronchiolitis or another complication.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae is a common bacterial cause of respiratory infection in children between the ages of 5 and 15. Most infected children will have no (or very few) symptoms, others will develop pneumonia. The cough from chlamydophila pneumoniae infection can be long-lasting — between 2 to 6 weeks.
The human Metapneumovirus (hMPV) virus usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms — or no symptoms at all. However, in some people, such as babies under a year old and older people with heart or lung disease, hMPV can lead to serious problems like bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Studies show that almost everyone has been infected by hMPV by age 5. Repeat infections in older children and adults are common and usually less severe.