Five of the Most Common Viruses Among Children

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), four viruses are most common among children in the United States: influenza (flu),rotavirus, adenovirus, and rhinovirus. Here’s what you need to know about these viruses and how your children can get infected.

Influenza (Flu)

The flu is a respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, body aches, headache, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Flu season typically runs from October to May in the United States, with peak activity between December and February.

The flu comes from the influenza A or B virus, which is spread through the air by coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.


Rotavirus is a virus that affects the stomach and intestines and is the leading cause of severe diarrhea among young children worldwide. It’s estimated that about two million individuals get infected by this virus.

The virus is spread through contaminated feces, which can happen when children put their hands in their mouths after touching contaminated surfaces or objects. It can also be spread through contact with someone infected with the virus.


Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that can cause respiratory illness, eye infections, diarrhea, or fever. Symptoms of adenovirus depend on which part of the body is affected; however, general symptoms include a runny nose, congestion, sore throat, pink eye, fever, or cold-like symptoms without a fever.


Rhinoviruses are a group of viruses that cause the common cold; they are responsible for more than half of all colds in adults and up to 80% in children. Symptoms of rhinovirus include runny nose, congestion, sneezing, sources throat, watery eyes, and coughing. There is no specific treatment for rhinoviruses; however, most people recover within two weeks without any medical intervention.

These are just some of the most common viruses among children in the United States. Thankfully, most of these viruses can be dealt with. However, it’s always better to protect your children from them and prevent these viruses from infecting them in the first place. Here are some ways you can do that.

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Sanitize Your Home Often

Viruses are easily spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. They are also quite resilient because a casing protects them. This means that they can survive for hours or even days on surfaces. Therefore, you must sanitize your home often, especially during cold and flu season.

You can use a disinfectant to clean surfaces in your home. To help prevent your children from getting viruses, it’s important to sanitize your home often, especially during flu season. This means cleaning all surfaces with a disinfectant, including doorknobs, countertops, light switches, and toys. You should also wash their hands often and teach them to cough or sneeze into their elbow to prevent the spread of germs.

Get the Flu Vaccine

Essentially, vaccines have dead or weakened viruses. When these viruses enter the body, they prompt an immune response. As a result, the body produces antibodies to fight off the virus.

The flu vaccine is about 40% effective in healthy adults and up to 60% effective in children. Even if the vaccine doesn’t completely prevent the flu, it can make symptoms milder and shorten the duration of the illness.

It’s essential to get the flu vaccine every year because the circulating strains of influenza change frequently. This means that last year’s vaccine may not be effective against this year’s strain. The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get vaccinated annually.

Get Check-ups Often

It’s important to take your child to a pediatrician for regular check-ups, especially if they seem to be getting sick often. Children are susceptible to viruses and other illnesses because their immune systems are still developing. During a check-up, pediatric services will assess your child’s health and ensure they’re up-to-date on all their vaccinations. They can also offer advice on boosting your child’s immunity and preventing them from getting sick often.

Wash Your Hands Often

One of the best ways to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands often. Make sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom or handling food. If soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer is an alternative.

You should also teach your children to wash their hands often. Then, you can make it fun for them by singing or teaching them to use a finger puppet.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, five of the most common viruses among children in the United States. Thankfully, most of these viruses can be dealt with; however, it’s always better to protect your children from them and prevent them from infecting them. Following the tips above can help keep your children healthy and virus-free.


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