Covid-19, Influenza, and RSV

  COVID-19 Infulennza, and RSV Dashboard     Influenza dashboard

  Find a Covid-19 Test Near You

  • COVID-19, influenza (flu), and RSV are common circulating respiratory conditions in Montana. They are caused by different viruses and are different diseases: SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), influenza viruses (flu), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
  • These viruses spread between people when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, or does other things to cause droplets containing the virus to be expelled.
  • These viruses spread year-round, but activity tends to peak in the fall, winter, and spring months (e.g., October-May).
Pan-Respiratory Symptoms
Common Symptoms COVID-19 Flu RSV Cold
Fever and/or chills Yes Yes Yes No
Headache Yes Yes No No
Muscle pain or body aches Yes Yes No No
Feeling tired or weak Yes Yes No No
Sore throat Yes Yes No Yes
Runny or stuffy nose Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sneezing No No No Yes
Cough Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shortness of breath Yes Yes Yes No
Vomiting or diahrhea Yes Yes No No
Change in or loss of taste or smell Yes No No No
  • Symptoms of COVID-19, flu, RSV, and other respiratory illnesses are similar and may include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, body aches, and low energy.
  • If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult with your medical provider. Your provider may recommend that you get tested to confirm a diagnosis.
  • If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, there are tests that can help determine which virus you may have. Testing is an important tool that can help inform your treatment and prevention actions, like physical spacing and mask use.
  • COVID-19 tests are available over the counter and from community testing sites. To find no-cost COVID-19 testing near you, visit Search for No-Cost Covid-19 Testing.
  • A healthcare provider can help advise you on getting tested for flu, RSV, or other respiratory viruses.
  • Vaccinate:
    • Vaccination is our strongest tool to help prevent these diseases from spreading. Vaccines can help prevent serious illness if you do become infected.
    • To find vaccines near you, visit Find a COVID‑19 vaccine near you
    • Updated COVID-19 vaccines are available for Montanans ages six months and older.
    • Several flu vaccines are available for Montanans ages 6 months and older. One dose offers protection for the full season (October – June).
    • Pneumococcal vaccines help protect against a deadly form of bacterial pneumonia, which is the most serious form of pneumococcal disease. Older persons and those with chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, existing lung disease) are at higher risk for contracting this disease and experiencing serious health outcomes.
    • New for the 2023-2024 Respiratory Season: Adults 60 years and older are eligible to receive RSV vaccines after discussion with their health care provider. Infants and young children under 24 months old may be eligible to receive a monoclonal antibody product that offers protection from severe RSV infection.
  • Handwashing, Respiratory Hygiene, and Cleaning:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol in it.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Cover your mouth with your inner elbow or a disposable tissue anytime you cough or sneeze.
    • Clean frequently touched surfaces with a cleaner that is approved for use on that surface. Follow instructions on the back of the cleaner carefully to ensure proper use for disinfection and sanitation.
    • For more information on cleaning, visit When and How to Clean and Disinfect Your Home
  • Air Quality Improvements:
    • Increase circulation and filtration of air in your home by using ceiling or exhaust fans (e.g., over your kitchen stove or in the bathroom) and your HVAC system.
    • Set your HVAC fan to “on” instead of “auto” when you have visitors, so air is continuously filtered.
    • Consider using a portable air cleaner to provide filtration if you do not have an HVAC system.
    • If it’s safe to do so, open doors and windows to bring in as much fresh outdoor air as possible. If you can only open a door or window slightly (e.g., if it is cold outside), that’s better than not at all.
  • Mask:
    • Mask effectiveness against different viruses can vary, especially considering what type of mask you use (e.g., N95, surgical, cloth).
    • Generally, masks can help reduce the amount of germs you may breathe in.
    • If you’re sick with a respiratory virus, wear a mask to help protect others from breathing in germs.
  • Physical Spacing:
    • If you’re sick with a respiratory virus, try and stay at least 6 feet away from other individuals who are not infected. This can help reduce their chances of becoming sick.
  • COVID-19 Therapeutics
  • Flu
    • Consult with your provider as soon as your symptoms begin to see if you are eligible to receive antiviral therapy (Tamiflu, Relenza, Rapivab, Xofluza).