Respiratory Viruses

Respiratory viruses are responsible for influenza-like illness morbidity within the community. Respiratory viruses can also cause the common cold. Certain respiratory viruses of interest are respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, enterovirus, coronaviruses (including SARS and MERS CoV), adenoviruses, and parainfluenza viruses. There is no routine surveillance on any of these viruses within Hawaii, implying that we do not have a complete picture on these viruses’ burden within our communities. These viruses are usually mild in illness. People at high risk (those with certain underlying conditions, the elderly, the very young, and pregnant women) could potentially develop severe illness that could result in hospitalization or death. The best way to protect oneself is by proper hand hygiene and avoiding contact with sick individuals. The best way to protect others if you are sick is by covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, good hand hygiene, and staying home from work or school.

Types of Respiratory Viruses: