‘Tripledemic’ strains US hospitals as much as peak COVID

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 2:11 AM MST
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(CNN) - Hospitals in the U.S. are about as overwhelmed now as during the omicron surge, according to new capacity numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A significant contributor is a triple threat of viruses, or the so-called “tripledemic.”

Johns Hopkins University says flu cases are higher than normal, RSV has been on the rise, and more coronavirus variants are developing.

Some pediatricians say the so-called “tripledemic” is hitting kids especially hard.

“We think it’s just a bad cold, and it isn’t. It can be so much worse,” said Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, pediatrician at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

She’s talking about the flu and its potential complications in children.

“The pneumonia that can come after, the ear infections that can come after, the dehydration that lands kids in the hospital, the sinusitis that can happen in older kids, even febrile seizures,” Bracho-Sanchez added.

Medical experts strongly recommend getting a flu shot.

Also, children as young as 6 months may be able to get an updated shot for COVID-19 soon.

For treatment, Walgreens is starting free home delivery of prescription Paxlovid.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccines and anti-viral therapies are still in the works for RSV, but pandemic mitigation strategies help stop all three viruses.

“It’s our individual choices that are going to help protect ourselves, our loved ones and our other community members,” said Dr. Keri Althoff, associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.