Enterovirus is scary because it’s required tons of kids to spend about a week in the hospital—but it very rarely causes deaths (only 4 have had the virus). Unfortunately RSV, pneumonia, and other respiratory viruses can have worse side-effects but don’t get as many headlines.
RSV—RSV affects people with a weakened immune system, starting with the youngest among us. You can get RSV more than once, and people with weakened immune systems will get RSV repeatedly as they get older.
Unfortunately, RSV is ubiquitous, so you can’t avoid it. You just have to support your immune system and prepare yourself—whether that’s saving up sick days for when you’re actually sick, or eating a little better throughout cold and flu season.
RSV can cause bronchiolitis and pneumonia, and there’s a small amount of evidence that RSV may be able to trigger Type 2 Diabetes. Treatment for RSV is rest and fluids, so long as breathing isn’t impaired.
Both RSV and Enterovirus are worse for people with asthma, who have it rough during winter. Even if you don’t get sick, asthma symptoms tend to be worse because of the cold air.
Then, of course, there’s the flu. Proper influenza is a respiratory illness, but it often gets conflated with stomach flu, which is also more common during the winter. The flu shot offers a pinch of protection, but there’s lots of strains, so you can get the flu more than once!