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Upper Respiratory Infection Season

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Respiratory illnesses are common in the fall and winter. Seasonal cases of influenza, strep throat and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, are likely to continue increasing over the next few months. COVID-19 also remains active with many areas seeing a rise in cases.

Check out these tips to guide you through this year’s upper respiratory infection season:

  • Respiratory illnesses can be treated at home for most people. If you aren’t high-risk, you probably don’t need to get tested or make an appointment. Get plenty of rest, drink fluids and use over-the-counter medication to help you feel better and aid in recovery.
  • In-clinic tests for upper respiratory infections are only recommended for those at high risk for severe illness or who meet certain criteria. Those at increased risk include people who are immunocompromised, age 65 or older or pregnant or have other complex health conditions. For most people, testing for influenza or other infections won’t change the treatment plan.
  • Take a home antigen test to check for COVID-19. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, home antigen tests are the fastest, most convenient and least expensive way to get tested. You can self-report a positive test result through the COVID-19 home antigen attestation questionnaire in the patient portal.
  • Prevention is the best protection. Make sure you wash your hands, avoid prolonged contact with people who are sick and stay current on your recommended vaccines—especially for influenza and COVID-19. If you do become ill, help protect others by staying home. Wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask if you must be in contact with other people and follow isolation guidelines for returning to work or school.

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Don’t feel well?

You can get peace of mind when you experience new or worsening symptoms* with free assessment tools provided by Mayo Clinic Health System.

Our goal is to help you get connected to the right care, at the right time, in the right place for your needs.

Online – Mayo Clinic Patient Portal:
Check Symptoms is a symptom evaluation tool available 24/7/365 located within Mayo Clinic’s patient portal. Simply answer targeted questions to evaluate your symptoms and receive a care recommendation. Learn more.

By Phone – Nurse Line Triage:
Mayo Clinic primary care nurse triage offers convenient 24/7/365 access to care from our team of registered nurses to assess new or worsening symptoms, answer medical questions or determine the appropriate level of care. Learn more.

*For life-threatening or severe illness or injury call 911.