Viral Infections: Causes, Symptoms, and Resources


Tips to follow to help minimize and prevent the spread of colds and viruses:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds

  • Avoid touching of eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick

  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially is someone is sick

Being familiar and aware of your child's signs and symptoms will not only improve your child's health, but will protect others from becoming infected, too.

The Difference in Symptoms: A Cold vs. The Flu






Ususally High (100-102 degrees),
Sudden Onset




General Aches/Pains


Usual; Often Severe

Fatigue & Weakness


Extreme; Can Last up to 2-3 Weeks

Extreme Exhaustion


Early and Prominent

Nasal Congestion






Sore Throat



Chest Discomfort

Mild-Moderate; Hacking Cough

Common; Can Become Severe

Overall Milder

Can Become Serious

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness.

  • Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • Fever or feeling feverish/chills

    • Cough and/or sore throat

    • Runny or stuffy nose

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Headaches

    • Fatigue (tiredness)

    • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • CDC: Influenza (Flu)

  • NYSDOH: The Flu - What you Should Know

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye):
People often call conjunctivitis “pink eye” because it can cause the white of the eye to take on a pink or red color. The most common causes of pink eye are viruses, bacteria, and allergens.

  • Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • Pink or red color in the white of the eye(s)

    • Swelling of the eyes and/or eyelids

    • Increased tear production

    • Itching, irritation, and/or burning

    • Discharge (pus or mucus)

    • Crusting of eyelids or lashes, especially in the morning

  • CDC: Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Enterovirus D68:
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is a virus that can cause an infection similar to the common cold and most commonly affects children.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing.

  • Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • High fever (may spike to more than 104°)

    • Cough and/or running nose

    • Red, watery eyes

    • Tiny white spots inside the mouth

    • Small, red bumps or spots appearing on the face and hairline, spreading downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet.

  • CDC: Measles

  • CDC: Vaccine for Measles

  • Mayo Clinic: Measles

COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is caused by a the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is very contagious. COVID-19 most often causes respiratory symptoms that can feel much like a cold, the flu, or pneumonia.

  • Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • Fever or chills

    • Cough or sore throat

    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • Fatigue

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Headache, congestion, or runny nose

    • New loss of taste or smell

    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

  • Avon CSD COVID-19 Resource Page

  • CDC: COVID-19

Group A Strep:
Bacteria called group A Streptococcus (group A strep) can cause many different infections; strep throat, impetigo, cellulitis and more. The best way to protect yourself from group A strep infection is to practice good hygiene, like washing your hands often.
CDC: Group A Streptococcal

Strep Throat: Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus (group A strep). In general, strep throat is a mild infection, but it can be very painful.

  • Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • Sore throat

    • Pain when swallowing

    • Fever

    • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches

    • Tiny, red spots on the roof of the mouth

    • Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck

  • CDC: Strep Throat

Impetigo: Impetigo is a mild infection that can occur anywhere on the body. It most often affects exposed skin, such as around the nose and mouth or on the arms or legs.

  • Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • Red, itchy sores around the face and mouth that break open and leak

    • Yellow, crusty scabbing around the sores

  • CDC: Impetigo

Cellulitis: Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infection that causes redness, swelling, and pain in the infected area of the skin.

  • Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • Red, swollen, and painful area of skin that is warm and tender to the touch

    • Skin may look pitted, like the peel of an orange, or blisters may appear

    • Fever or chills

  • CDC: Cellulitis