Respiratory Illnesses

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Respiratory Illnesses

Respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19, influenza (flu), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are contagious infections that are all caused by different viruses. These illnesses primarily affect the respiratory system and can follow seasonal patterns.

Respiratory illnesses spread when a person who is sick breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch.

  • COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It can present with common symptoms like fever and headache as well as unique symptoms that can and include fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of taste and/or smell.

  • Influenza (flu) is a virus that infects the nose, throat, and occasionally the lungs. Flu can cause mild to severe illnesses in humans. It can cause symptoms like fever, cough, and body aches. Seasonal flu (influenza A and B) is detected year-round but fall and winter is considered flu season.

  • RSV a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious. Infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV and need hospitalization. Vaccines are available to protect older adults from severe RSV. Monoclonal antibody products are available to protect infants and young children from severe RSV.

DCHD encourages everyone to take steps year-round to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses and limit their impact on our families and community. Stay up to date on vaccinations. Practice proper handwashing. Stay home if you are sick. Get tested. Be mindful of not exposing vulnerable friends and family. Consider wearing a mask in appropriate settings. Seek medical advice and care if you have severe symptoms.

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Know The Signs

Common Symptoms COVID-19 Flu RSV
Common Symptoms
and RSV
Fever and/or Chills
Muscle pain or body aches
Feeling tired or weak
Sore throat
Runny or stuffy nose
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Vomiting and diarrhea
Change in or loss of taste or smell

Need help? The Delaware County Health Department Wellness Line:
is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In addition to responding to phone calls, the Wellness Line Team also responds to email inquiries.

Phone: (484) 276-2100

Contact Us

  •   201 West Front Street,
         Media, PA 19063
  •   8:30AM - 4:30PM
           Monday - Friday
  •   610-891-4000

About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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