Search for Intermountain doctors close to where you live or work.
The following respiratory germs are currently active in Utah:
In the past few weeks, we have been experiencing an increase in rhinovirus/enterovirus activity, including cases of acute respiratory illness associated with moderate to severe wheezing in children and young adults. This increase in illness is the result of a virus known as enterovirus 68 (or EV 68) that has been sickening thousands of children throughout the U.S.. EV 68 is similar to the rhinovirus that causes the common cold. EV 68 is so similar to rhinovirus that available laboratory tests can’t readily distinguish the two viruses. As a result, patients infected with EV 68 that get tested, will likely test positive for rhinovirus. However, unlike rhinovirus, EV 68 can quickly progress from what seems like a common cold to more severe respiratory symptoms like wheezing; the whistling sound generated when air moves through narrowed breathing tubes. While most people infected with EV 68 will have mild disease, parents, especially of children with asthma or a history of wheezing, should be alert for the development of troubled or difficult breathing and should seek care immediately should this happen.
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.
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.
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.
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 time to get yours.
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.