TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Local medical experts say they’re dealing with a big surge of respiratory illnesses.
There are warnings nationwide of a “tripledemic,” as hospitals and urgent care centers are becoming overwhelmed.
The concern is that multiple illnesses are going around at the same time as COVID-19, RSV, and Influenza.
“We worry when there’s more than one virus around,” said Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Perno. “One theory is, a lot of our kids haven’t seen these viruses, haven’t been exposed to it. We’ve been masked up, we’ve been isolated.”
Dr. Perno says the biggest surge they’re seeing right now is flu cases. “We’ve seen a dramatic rise in influenza really over the last month,” he said.
It’s a trend infectious disease experts at USF are tracking.
“Now people are out there again, they’re socializing a lot more, our immunity is down a little bit, the herd immunity is down, so we’re going to see I think a fairly bad flu season this year, especially among the unvaccinated,” said Thomas Unnasch, Distinguished Professor of the Global Health and Infectious Disease Research Unit at USF.
To help combat the surge, doctors are urging people to take precautions like getting vaccinated.
“I definitely urge people to get vaccinated, things we learned worked with COVID-19, washing your hands, if you’re in a really crowded place considering wearing a mask, and if you’re sick, right, what we learned with Covid is if you’re sick you stay home and you stay away from everyone,” said Dr. Perno.
“We always see the blips around the holidays, or just after the holidays, after they get together, so with us already being a pretty near peak volumes, it’s a little concerning that’s going to get worse,” Perno continued.