If it seems like everyone around you is getting sick, you’re not imagining it. Flu season is hitting the United States unusually early and much harder than it usually does. Covid precautions led to much lower rates of flu-like illnesses compared to before the pandemic. But now that much of America has abandoned preventative measures such as masking, more people than before Covid are getting sick with seasonal illnesses.In addition to COVID-19, we're facing the worse flu season since 2017-2018, when flu killed 80,000 Americans, RSV, and monkeypox. Yikes! When I posted Skipping last flu season may be an example of 'there is no free lunch,' a pandemic update last year, I was only a year ahead. It also reminds me that I need to get my flu shot for the year and that we need a better flu shot that works for more than a year.
"I'm scared about what's going to happen this flu season because I don't think we've ever seen a coalition of multiple viruses kind of manifesting in this way before," said Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne, an emergency medicine doctor and associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
One of those flu-like illnesses is Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, which is most severe in young children, the elderly and immune compromised individuals. There have been more reported cases of RSV in each week of October this year than any other week in the past two years. Doctors around the country are raising the alarm about hospitals being overwhelmed.
Watch the video above to learn more about why this flu season is starting off with a surge and what we can do about it.
I'm sure I'll return to the "tripledemic" after I cover the Macy's Parade, Thanksgiving, Buy Nothing Day, Small Business Saturday, and the Sunday entertainment feature. In the meantime, may my readers stay safe and healthy!