The term tripledemic has taken over the news recently, and rightly so. Over the last month, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in respiratory illnesses, specifically COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (also known as RSV), across the country. This unexpected confluence has overwhelmed many hospital systems whose ICU and emergency departments have been at or near capacity to care for the influx of sick adults and children.
What changes have we seen in these illnesses?
COVID-19: According to The New York Times, “Covid-19 case rates and hospitalizations have spiked by 56 percent and 24 percent, respectively, over the past two weeks.”
Flu: The CDC shared that flu season has arrived much earlier than normal this year, and five times as many people have been hospitalized for the flu so far this season than this same period of time in the last decade
RSV: Despite being a predominantly winter illness, the country saw an unusual spike of RSV in early summer. We’re seeing it surge again, with pediatric departments struggling to keep up with the rush of patients, particularly infants, who can experience serious symptoms.
How do I protect myself and my loved ones?
We spoke with our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kelly O’Malia, to learn about her recommendations for staying safe, particularly during the upcoming holiday season.
- Vaccinations are the best defense against these diseases. Staying up to date with your COVID-19 and flu vaccines is a great way to help your body build up immunity.
- Wash your hands often, masking inside, especially in crowded places, and staying home when you are sick are essential to staying healthy this season. Helping your kids learn and remember these habits is great too!
- Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated. Water, milk, electrolyte mixes and drinks like Pedialyte are great choices to support hydration.
If you have additional questions about the tripledemic and how it may be impacting you, please reach out to your primary care provider. We here at Everside Health hope everyone has a healthy and safe holiday!