Doctors warn of looming tripledemic for children in schools

Doctors in our state are concerned about what is being called a possible “tripledemic”. That’s the threat of flu season together with RSV and COVID-19 cases. As we enter the winter months, kids across our state are going to be together in indoor spaces like school more often than not. When the weather gets colder, doctors say we could see a surge of these respiratory viruses. Flu season lasts throughout the fall and winter. RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is spreading in young children, and for the last 2 years of this COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen winter surges in cases.“It’s not uncommon for us to have a very significant respiratory viral season for children. What’s different about this is one that it’s occurring very early. Across the state of New Mexico and across the country, we have a decrease in the number of pediatric beds than we had pre-pandemic,” said Dr. John Pederson.Dr. Pederson says throughout the peak of COVID-19, hospital bed space was pulled from pediatrics for adults who were sick. Now the tripledemic is putting pressure on our healthcare system. Pederson does say that there are some treatments and vaccines in the works for RSV that could help relieve pressure on hospitals. “If your child is sick, keeping them home from school, if they are able to, is a smart decision. If they have to go out into a public space, wearing a mask is safe,” said Dr. Pederson.Dr. Pederson also says there are several free flu and COVID-19 vaccination events in Albuquerque. One on Nov. 17 and one on the 19th. You can learn more about those clinics at phs.org.

Doctors in our state are concerned about what is being called a possible “tripledemic”. That’s the threat of flu season together with RSV and COVID-19 cases.

As we enter the winter months, kids across our state are going to be together in indoor spaces like school more often than not. When the weather gets colder, doctors say we could see a surge of these respiratory viruses.

Flu season lasts throughout the fall and winter. RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is spreading in young children, and for the last 2 years of this COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen winter surges in cases.

“It’s not uncommon for us to have a very significant respiratory viral season for children. What’s different about this is one that it’s occurring very early. Across the state of New Mexico and across the country, we have a decrease in the number of pediatric beds than we had pre-pandemic,” said Dr. John Pederson.

Dr. Pederson says throughout the peak of COVID-19, hospital bed space was pulled from pediatrics for adults who were sick. Now the tripledemic is putting pressure on our healthcare system.

Pederson does say that there are some treatments and vaccines in the works for RSV that could help relieve pressure on hospitals.

“If your child is sick, keeping them home from school, if they are able to, is a smart decision. If they have to go out into a public space, wearing a mask is safe,” said Dr. Pederson.

Dr. Pederson also says there are several free flu and COVID-19 vaccination events in Albuquerque. One on Nov. 17 and one on the 19th. You can learn more about those clinics at phs.org.

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