Experts Worry Thanksgiving Could Spur A Surge Of Flu, RSV, Covid
Call it a "tripledemic" or a trifecta of illnesses — experts are concerned that a surge of these illnesses all at once could hit after people meet for thanksgiving. The Washington Post warns that existing surges in child respiratory illnesses are already stressing hospitals.
Experts Are Concerned Thanksgiving Gatherings Could Accelerate A 'Tripledemic'
Of course, COVID-19 is still sickening tens of thousands and killing hundreds of people every day. And new, even more contagious omicron subvariants that are especially adept at infecting people — even if they've been vaccinated or previously infected — are taking over. "There's a lot of moving parts here," says Dr. David Rubin, who's been tracking the pandemic at the PolicyLab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (Stein, 11/23)
North Carolina Health News:
Should I Skip Thanksgiving If I Feel Sick?
People are eager to get back to their holiday rituals after years of pandemic restrictions, but what happens if just as the holiday approaches, you find yourself sneezing, sniffling, coughing and maybe even testing positive for a COVID-19 infection? (Hoban, 11/23)
Bay Area News Group:
Virus 'Trifecta' Fears Spur Vaccine Push Ahead Of Holidays
“We’re facing the trifecta this year,” Santa Clara County Executive Jeffrey Smith said outside of Valley Medical Center in San Jose. “We really have a major problem with having COVID and the flu and RSV hitting us all at the same time.” (Woolfolk, 11/22)
The New York Times:
How Immunocompromised Experts Will Celebrate Another Pandemic Holiday
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Linda Yancey set a strict rule for her family: No relatives were allowed to go over to Grandma’s house until they could do so without risking her life. As an infectious-disease specialist at Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Dr. Yancey was keenly aware that her mother-in-law’s emphysema put her at high risk of hospitalization or even death if she got Covid. By 2021, Dr. Yancey’s mother-in-law was able to be fully vaccinated. Later in the year, Dr. Yancey and her husband got their shots, as did their children. But while most Americans now consider precautions like social distancing, wearing masks and quarantining after a Covid exposure optional, Dr. Yancey’s family still does all of them to keep her mother-in-law safe. (Sheikh, 11/22)
America Shrugs Off Its Twindemic
The much-feared twindemic — or even tripledemic — of respiratory viruses is here, but Americans are too COVID-fatigued to care. Flu in the southeast and RSV infections in multiple regions are filling up hospital wards and causing some facilities to cancel elective surgeries and bring back triage tents. (Bettelheim, 11/22)
More on RSV and flu —
The Washington Post:
High Demand For Pediatric Beds Stresses System
As the nation grapples with a surge in respiratory illnesses making very young children and babies ill, the high demand for inpatient and pediatric intensive-care-unit beds means children are spending days and weeks in emergency rooms designed for short-term evaluation and treatment. The surge has hit states in the East and Southeast particularly hard, with D.C., Maryland and Virginia reporting the highest incidence of influenza-like illness, which includes RSV, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. (Portnoy, 11/22)
Pediatric ICUs Face Bed Shortage Amid RSV Surge: "It's Not Hyperbole To Call It A Crisis"
For every patient discharged from the pediatric intensive care unit at Mass General for Children in Boston, three more are waiting for that bed. A surge in cases of respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV, has hospitals nationwide struggling to treat patients. (O'Donnell, Hastey and Paulino, 11/22)
New York Mom Whose Baby Struggled With RSV Has Urgent Message For Parents
A mother of five is asking parents to keep their sick children at home after a recent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) outbreak infected three of her daughters and led to a frightening hospitalization for one of them. Carmen Bremiller, 27, of Barker, New York — in Broome County — has been caring for her daughters for several weeks and said the road to full recovery is ongoing. (Moore, 11/23)
In related news —
Report Highlights The Deadly Impact Of Bacterial Infections
Deaths caused by bacterial infections accounted for more than 1 in 8 global deaths in 2019, with five pathogens accounting for more than half of those deaths, an international team of researchers reported yesterday in The Lancet. (Dall, 11/22)
New Clinical Trial Will Test Whether Infections Need Antibiotics
Rapid tests to check whether infections are caused by bacteria or viruses - and whether they need antibiotics - are to be trialled in GP surgeries. The trial, led by the University of Bristol, will investigate whether testing patients at the point they turn up with symptoms of a respiratory infection could cut the number of antibiotic prescriptions given out. (Kirby, 11/23)