WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Some health experts are renewing their warning about a “tridemic” this winter, as cases of RSV, COVID and the flu start to overwhelm hospitals.
There’s also a concern, as families gather for Thanksgiving.
“It’s kind of been a triple threat really,” said Dr. Nour Rifai, emergency medicine physician at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Doctors in the DMV are dealing with an uptick in RSV, COVID and flu cases.
“We’ve not seen flu really for the last year or two and now all of a sudden, I mean, this is one of the worst seasons that I can recall in the last few years,” Rifai said.
As for cases of respiratory syncytial virus or RSV, the state of Maryland has a new dashboard showing hospitalizations actually going down.
“But there’s still a lot around. There are still people hospitalized throughout Maryland with RSV infections so it’s still a concern,” said Dr. David Blythe, a medical epidemiologist with the Maryland Department of Health.
“I think it’s probably still too early to say that we’ve hit our peak yet,” Rifai said. “You know, the months will get colder, people will spend more time indoors and these things definitely will have more of a chance to continue to spread.”
For those getting together in tight spaces for Thanksgiving, there are things you can do to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
“Frequent hand washing, also, what we call respiratory etiquette, so coughing into your sleeve, or into a tissue that can then be discarded. And then also cleaning high touch surfaces frequently,” Blythe said.
Getting some ventilation is important too. Cracking a window or putting a fan on can help.
“I think the simplest thing to do is getting like a high-quality air filter or air purifier you know those are we have them in certain rooms in the hospital. I have them in my home,” Rifai said.
If you do feel sick, get tested.
“If you’re coughing, sneezing, not feeling well, certainly having fevers, not the time to be out socializing, mingling and closed indoor spaces with other people,” Rifai said.
Doctors are still recommending everyone get their flu shots and updated COVID booster which you can do at the same time.
It’s too late for it to be effective this weekend, but still very important as these viruses will likely spread more easily in the coming weeks.