New York City has emerged as one of the hotspots experiencing elevated rates of respiratory illnesses this month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This unsettling news follows a recent CDC report indicating a 30% surge in hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients, with the highest rates observed among young children and the elderly. The Tri-State area, along with various Southern states, much of the Southwest, and California, is grappling with a trio of respiratory challenges—COVID-19, Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV), and influenza—dubbed “the tripledemic.”
Georgia and South Carolina stand out as the two worst-affected states in the country, while upstate New York is experiencing lower levels of these illnesses. The combination of COVID-19, RSV, and influenza poses a unique challenge, requiring standard preventive measures such as staying home when sick, practicing good hand hygiene, and getting vaccinated. Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, emphasizes the importance of these familiar precautions in managing the potential convergence of these respiratory threats.
Flu hospitalizations are also on the rise, with the last week of November and early December seeing 5,753 cases, up from 4,268 the previous week, according to CDC data. While RSV cases have shown a slight decline, some hospitals, like those in Washington, are reinstating indoor mask mandates to cope with the increased patient load.
Dr. Kristin Englund of the Cleveland Clinic had previously anticipated this convergence of diseases, known as the tripledemic, and emphasized the importance of standard protective measures. These include staying home when sick, practicing good hand hygiene, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces. Dr. Englund also underscores the significance of staying up-to-date with vaccinations, especially for COVID-19, given the virus’s ongoing mutations. The CDC is currently monitoring the variant JN.1, a subvariant of Omicron, which constitutes about a fifth of cases.