Dr.Jha: A ‘tripledemic’ Could Hit the U.S


In a interview with CBS News, Dr. Ashish Jha, The White House Covid Response Coordinator, told that Covid isn’t the only viral threat US is facing this winter but a “tripledemic” also involving flu and RSV may soon unfold. He added “We’re not powerless against it”.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), respiratory illness are appearing few weeks earlier this year and reportedly infecting more people.

Dr. Mike Sevilla, a family physician based in Salem, Oregon, told Fortune Well “With regard to the ‘tripledemic,’ young children are the most vulnerable, and I’m seeing that in my practice right now. During the height of the pandemic, kids (and adults) have been shielded from illness with social distancing and with masking. However, as cases of flu, COVID, and RSV are on the rise nationally, we’re seeing more young children coming down with these illnesses here locally as well.”

Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist and chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital and an ABC News contributor, told “Mostly the issue is there’s low population immunity and kids are, once again, gathered again, and this is facilitating rapid spread of viruses like RSV. And because of the sheer volume of infection, when you have that larger denominator, you have a situation where a portion of those kids are going to require hospital treatment. And because of that, our hospitals are spread thin, not only for bed capacity, but also for critical staffing, of those beds.”

He reportedly added, “So the combination of shortages, bed capacity and rising viral illness all make for an unfortunate perfect storm that we’re seeing happen everywhere right now.”

Dr. Larry Kociolek, medical director of Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, told ABC News “That just leaves a lot of children, young children in particular, that have been born since March of 2020 who haven’t yet encountered RSV infections. And so that will increase the ability of the virus to spread and increase the number of children who will get infected.”

Dr. Larry Kociolek, medical director of infection prevention and control and attending physician at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, warned “I think [influenza] has the potential to overwhelm our health care system. Unlike RSV, enterovirus—which is a group of infections that cause mild to serious illnesses—and COVID, we haven’t had an influenza season since early 2020. Influenza essentially went away for the last two and a half years, and so we have a huge population of infants—essentially almost every child in the U.S. who is under 2 and a half to 3 years old—who has not encountered influenza, and the vaccine rate is not particularly good.”

Health experts recommend that vaccination is the best prevention of influenza and COVID for both adults and of children.