What Clinicians Need to Know About the “Tripledemic”
Cases of RSV have seen a sharp uptick in the last few weeks, spurring concerns of a tripledemic; that is, a simultaneous surge in COVID-19, flu, and RSV infections.
Experts suggest a perfect storm of factors behind the surge. After years of masking and social distancing, many young children now congregating at school — some for the first time — have not built up an immunity to common respiratory infections, making them particularly vulnerable to RSV and the flu.
Related: Respiratory Tract Infections: A Focus on Antimicrobial Treatment Options
Additional outside factors have had a compounding impact. In the Southeast, Hurricane Ian delayed delivery of flu vaccines to many areas. Holiday travels have, and likely will continue, to drive increased rates of infection as people gather in areas where COVID mitigation practices have slackened.
While research into an RSV vaccine is underway, there is no FDA-approved vaccine for RSV in young children. To help reduce the spread of RSV, flu, and COVID, experts recommend encouraging good hand-washing practices, as well as regular disinfection of high-touch surfaces.