Respiratory Illness Guidance

Respiratory virus prevention strategies from JCDHE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides practical recommendations and information to help people lower health risks posed by a range of common respiratory viral illnesses, including flu, COVID-19 and RSV.

Learn how to reduce your risk of getting sick from these viruses, and if they are spreading in Johnson County, Kansas.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment offers vaccinations for flu, COVID-19 and RSV at the walk-in clinics in Olathe and Mission or find a vaccine provider near you at

Learn more about H5N1 bird flu in animals and people with animal exposures.


Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk of serious flu complications.  

The best way to reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications is by getting vaccinated each year. Testing for the influenza virus is available at most primary care offices.

Explore Flu Information


COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is a disease caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. It can be very contagious and spreads quickly.

COVID-19 most often causes respiratory symptoms that can feel much like a cold, the flu, or pneumonia. COVID-19 may attack more than your lungs and respiratory system. Other parts of your body may also be affected by the disease. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people become severely ill.

Some people including those with minor or no symptoms will develop Post-COVID Conditions – also called “Long COVID.”

The best way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and its potentially serious complications is by getting vaccinated. COVID-19 testing is available at most primary care offices or by purchasing an in-home test kit.


Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is 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.

If you are age 60 or older, a vaccine is available to protect you from severe RSV. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if it’s right for you. If you are pregnant, you can get an RSV vaccine if you are between 32–36 weeks of pregnancy during the months of September through January, to protect your infant after birth, or a preventive antibody can be given to your baby after birth.

Contact your child’s healthcare provider about the RSV vaccine for infants under eight months of age. JCDHE does not offer the RSV vaccine for infants at its walk-in clinics.

Testing for the RSV virus is available at most primary care offices.