Development of diagnostic methods for rapid and sensitive identification of respiratory viruses is essential for defining the emergence of viral infection. Recent research has demonstrated that glancing angle vapor deposition produces Ag nanorod arrays can used as surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrates. These novel SERS substrates can be used as diagnostic tools to rapidly detect the Raman spectra of RNA viruses, as well as provide structural and quantitative information about the virus. While these preliminary results are promising, the ultimate ability of SERS-based diagnostics for achieving real-time, quantitative, and sensitive detection of respiratory viruses is unknown. The long-term objective was to develop SERS-based viral diagnostic methods that provide viral nucleic acid spectral fingerprints for clinically important respiratory viruses that make it possible to rapidly and sensitively identify viruses.