(WKBN) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning people of what they’re calling a “tripledemic.” They’re advising the public to be aware of RSV, COVID-19 and the flu as we head into the holiday season.
Health officials have asked President Joe Biden to declare a public health emergency due to a rise in cases of those three active viruses.
“You know, we’re seeing more patients that are sick in our walk-in cares than we were last week and the week before that,” said Mercy Health’s Dr. James Kravec.
According to the CDC’s website, COVID-19 cases in both Ohio and Pennsylvania sit mostly at low to medium community levels. For the flu, Ohio is at a high-level rate and Pennsylvania is considered moderate. For RSV, the CDC doesn’t give community levels but suggests those levels have been rising in both states over the last few weeks.
Luckily, cases of these illnesses aren’t as bad as we’ve seen previously. Patients have been able to leave the hospital on the same day.
“These patients are walking in with symptoms with a cold or maybe the flu or maybe COVID and they’re going home. They’re mild respiratory illness or mild viral illness,” Dr. Kravec said.
Mercy Health is seeing a small increase in patients having to stay.
Dr. Kravec suggests that if you feel sick, getting tested will help figure out which one you have. These viruses are transmitted very similarly.
“The symptoms do overlap quite a bit — cough, fever, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose,” Dr. Kravec said.
For the most part, fall and winter are expected to have more spread of these cases.
“One thing that is different is this seems to be peaking a little bit earlier. It usually ends up peaking in January or February and we’re having a higher number now in October, November and maybe December.” Dr. Kravec said.
Dr. Kravec suggests that if you feel sick, stay home.