Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon » Homepage

Respiratory Illness Prevention

Infectious diseases are caused by germs (viruses, bacteria or other pathogenic microbes). Germs that can infect the respiratory system are frequently spread through mucus and saliva when a person coughs, sneezes, talks or laughs.

Infectious respiratory illnesses include influenza, COVID-19, RSV and many more.

Symptoms of respiratory illness include:

  • congestion, either in the nasal sinuses or lungs,
  • runny nose,
  • cough,
  • sore throat,
  • body aches,
  • fatigue.

The best way to prevent the spread of infectious respiratory illness is to:

  • cover your cough and sneezes,
  • wash your hands often,
  • get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu,
  • stay home when you are ill,
  • minimize close contact with sick people.
father and daughter standing over a kitchen sink washing their hands with a bar of soap

Learn more about specific respiratory illnesses and how you can protect yourself and your family.