As the flu, COVID-19, and RSV cases continue to rise across the country, health officials are becoming increasingly concerned. This year has seen a surge in hospitalizations due to these illnesses, with many emergency rooms preparing for a possible triple epidemic of illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were at least 780,000 flu illnesses and almost 500 deaths from October until last week. Dr. Brownstein explained that certain age groups and individuals with preexisting medical conditions are more susceptible to severe cases and even death from these illnesses, emphasizing that the flu infection can be especially deadly for the youngest and oldest age groups and those with underlying conditions.
While hospitalizations due to the flu have been lower this year compared to previous years, trends in southern states suggest that we may be heading towards another serious flu outbreak. With the combination of flu, COVID-19, and RSV, hospitals are preparing for a challenging time in managing these illnesses. As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge for health officials, there is also concern about veterans who are at risk of losing their homes after the COVID mortgage forbearance program ends. This adds to the social and economic impacts of the triple epidemic of illnesses and requires a comprehensive response from health and government officials to address these interconnected challenges.