RSV, Cold, COVID-19, Flu? How to ID Common Kid Bugs

sick child

November 29, 2021

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Jennifer Sevilla, M.D.
Even a small cough or sneeze from your child may have you wondering, do they have COVID-19?
Between RSV, colds, COVID-19 and the flu, it can sometimes be hard to determine one illness from another. We connected with pediatrician, Jennifer Sevilla, M.D. to help us differentiate between these common kid bugs. 

Distinguishing Between Common Symptoms

Kids Symptoms for Cold, Flu, RSV and COVID infographic

Should I get my child tested for COVID-19?

“Between RSV, the flu, COVID-19 and typical colds, by just looking at the symptoms it can be tough to determine what the illness is,” shares Dr. Sevilla. “Since symptoms are somewhat ambiguous for COVID-19 in children, it’s important to get your child tested for COVID, even if the symptoms are presenting more mildly.” 

Even if symptoms are mild, it is important to stop the spread of COVID-19. If your child has any symptoms of COVID-19, please get them tested, stay home and away from others until a negative result is found. 

Should I keep my child home from school?

“If your child is exhibiting any symptoms of illness, you should keep them home from school and away from others until a negative COVID test is produced and their symptoms resolve,” Dr. Sevilla adds. 

Importance of Flu & COVID-19 Vaccines

“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu is the best way to protect you and your family from infection,” shares Dr. Sevilla. 

Children ages 5 and up are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and babies six months and older should get a flu vaccine.

“Stay vigilant; keep washing your hands, wear a mask and physical distance when possible. We will get through this cold, flu and COVID season,” concludes Dr. Sevilla.

Next Steps & Resources:


The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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