Breaking News
More () »

Yes, you can get the flu or RSV twice in the same season

There's still two months to go in cold and flu season.

ATLANTA — There’s still a long way to go in this year’s cold and flu season, leaving many to wonder if they can catch the same illness twice.

Some might think you can develop immunity across the board to the flu once you've already had it for the season. 11Alive's Jerry Carnes looks into the medical science.

RELATED: VERIFY Fact Sheet: RSV illness


Can you get the flu or RSV twice in the same season?



This is true.

Yes, you can get flu or RSV twice in one season.


When you get the flu your body develops immunities that should protect you for the rest of that season from whatever strain of the flu you got.

But Dr. Heiman reminds us that there’s more than one strain.

“If I get influenza A and I get over that, but then three weeks later I get exposed to influenza B, I’m still susceptible to that,” said Dr. Heiman.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people get Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, by the age of two.

Dr. Jaggi points out that, just like with the flu, there are different strains of RSV.

“It’s probably not as common with RSV as it would be with influenza, but there are definitely different strains of these viruses and you can get them again in the same season,” said Dr. Jaggi.

Scientists agree that if you’re reinfected with RSV, the symptoms are not as severe.

So we can verify that you can get the flu or RSV twice in the same season. Doctors say don’t assume one bout with an illness means your fight is over.


Before You Leave, Check This Out