Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) , Influenza (Flu), and COVID-19 are all contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses.
Because some of the symptoms of RSV, flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference, so it is important to get tested and confirm a diagnosis. We have vaccines for the flu and COVID19, call 818-763-8836 for an appointment.
Symptoms of the Flu
Influenza is different from a cold, and usually comes on suddenly. Flu can cause mild to severe illness.
People feel some or all of these symptoms:
- fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone with flu will have a fever)
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
- fatigue (tiredness)
- some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, (more common in children)
Symptoms of COVID-19
According to the CDC, “People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.”
Possible symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms of RSV
Adults* and children usually show these symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Decrease in appetite
- Coughing or sneezing
*Sometimes adults can show no symptoms or have few signs of infection.
Infants less than 6 months may only show:
- Decreased activity
- Decreased appetite
- Pauses in breathing 10 seconds or longer
RSV infections usually go away in 1-2 weeks.
To relieve symptoms:
- Manage fever and pain with fever reducers and pain relievers (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration
- Never give aspirin to children. Talk to your doctor before giving nonprescription medicines.
People infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3-8 days. The virus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
To prevent and not spread RSV, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands often
- Keep your hands off your face
- Avoid close contact with sick people e.g. kissing a child with RSV
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect surfaces
- Stay home when you are sick