Practice Prevention

Learn what you can do to stay healthy and stop the spread of contagious illness.

Learn about the germs we're tracking in GermWatch:

  • Adenovirus

    Most active in spring and early summer, the adenoviruses are more likely to cause illness in younger children than in adults or older children. Symptoms vary widely and may include stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and cough.

  • Bordetella Pertussis

    Pertussis is highly contagious. Outbreaks are most common in late summer and early fall. The bacteria spread person-to-person through coughs, sneezes, laughs—anything that produces a spray that can be breathed in by someone else.

  • Chlamydophila Pneumoniae

    Chlamydophila pneumoniae can cause cough and sore throat. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 are most often affected, and while some will have no (or very few) symptoms, others will develop pneumonia. The cough from chlamydophila pneumoniae infection can be long-lasting

  • Coronavirus

    In the U.S., coronavirus infections are most common in the fall and winter. However, you can get infected at any time, as coronaviruses circulate year-round.

  • Enterovirus

    Younger children are most commonly affected by enteroviruses (such as hand, foot, and mouth disease), which are more active in summer and early fall. Enterovirus illness typically lasts 3 to 4 days and may cause fever, mouth sores, rash, and other symptoms.

  • Influenza (Seasonal Flu)

    In Utah, the flu “season” is fall and winter. It brings sudden symptoms such as fever, chills, and cough. Because it can be dangerous for young children and older adults, everyone over age 6 months should get a yearly seasonal flu shot.

  • Metapneumovirus

    This virus is most active in the winter. It usually causes only mild, “cold-like” symptoms but can trigger serious breathing problems in babies.

  • Mycoplasma Pneumoniae

    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. Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection is rare in children younger than 5. Cough, sore throat, fever, and fatigue are common symptoms. Many people will have only mild infection and will recover on their own. However, about 10% of school-age children will develop pneumonia and may need treatment with antibiotics.

  • Parainfluenza

    Parainfluenza is most active in fall and winter. Symptoms vary and can range from mild to life-threatening. A common cause of croup, it can cause serious illness in babies and younger children.

  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus

    RSV is most active in the winter and early spring. In older children and adults, it usually brings only mild “cold-like” symptoms — but babies and younger children are at risk for serious complications such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

  • Rhinovirus

    Rhinovirus can bring on all of the familiar symptoms of a cold: runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, cough, and body aches. In Utah, it circulates year-round, but is most active in the winter months.​​

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