MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — According to the Center for Disease Control, COVID-19, RSV, and flu cases have been increasing across the nation. Because of the increased amount of cases, health officials are calling this a “tripledemic.”
Medical professionals in the Mobile area say the term “tripledemic” is accurate and that this is only the beginning of what’s to come this winter.
Dr. Al Babcock with Spring Hill Medical Center said in Mobile, he’s seen a spike in flu and RSV cases, which is typical for the beginning of winter.
“RSV cases are coming up as we would expect them to come up this time of year with some of the younger kids and that we’re actually at this hospital,” said Babcock. “We’re not seeing a big uptake in COVID cases.”
Dr. Larry Mellick with USA Health works primarily in the children’s and women’s hospital. He said Mobile is seeing many cases of RSV affecting mostly children.
“RSV is the number one reason that children under one year of age get admitted to the hospital,” said Mellick. “And it’s a very important cause of lower respiratory tract infections. And it’s actually an important cause of death in children too.”
He said he’s seeing record numbers with the amount of patients that are being admitted to the hospital for RSV.
Typically, he’ll see 160 patients in a day, but in two days he’s seen 260. With many people getting admitted to the hospital, Mellick said this has caused some challenges in providing enough beds to all the patients.
“We are challenged and, and are challenged with beds and we’re holding patients,” said Mellick. “I don’t want to say that to discourage anyone from coming to the ER, we’ll take care of you. We’ll figure out how to work around, even if I have to see you in the hallway, I’ll take care of you.”
As the “tripledemic” continues to affect local hospitals, Babcock and Mellick said the best way to stay safe is to get your COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.
“The biggest thing is, is getting the flu vaccine this year, you know, I made sure that I got mine a few weeks ago, is we’re starting to see the numbers kind of increase,” said Babcock.
“Get your vaccinations. You know, don’t be silly about this, get your vaccinations for the COVID,” said Mellick. “And the boosters too. Don’t put it off don’t come up with some crazy reason. You need it’s cutting down on deaths.”
Both medical professionals said we could see more cases of all three viruses come this winter.