Respiratory Viruses

Respiratory viruses can cause the common cold and influenza-like illness.

While you may be familiar with these illnesses – and have likely had them before – you may not be as familiar with all the different viruses that cause them.

 Since late Summer of 2021, Wisconsin has seen increased Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) activity. RSV activity is currently higher than expected for this time of year.

For weekly case count updates for all respiratory viruses in Wisconsin, see the Weekly Respiratory Surveillance Report, P-02346-2020-21.

People at higher risk

Though most people will only experience mild to moderate symptoms from a respiratory virus, some people may get seriously ill or even die. Those with weakened immune systems, infants, older adults, and those with existing lung or heart conditions are at a higher risk of developing severe illness. See our People at Higher Risk webpage for more information on what it means to be part of these groups.






Resources can be ordered for free from the Department of Health Services (DHS). Here's how:

  • Download the Microsoft Word document F-80025A (this can be used to order multiple forms/publications).
    • Internet Explorer Users: When downloading a Word form, you may get a Windows Security popup box asking for a login ID and a password. The form will open if you choose "Cancel."
  • Complete the form by tabbing through the input fields, not by using the return or enter key.
  • Email the completed form to the DHS forms managers.
  • If you have questions about ordering forms or publications, please email the DHS forms manager or call 608-267-9054.


Questions about respiratory viruses? Contact us!
Phone: 608-267-9003 | Fax: 608-261-4976

Last Revised: October 13, 2021