NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee is currently the nation’s top state for flu cases, according to surveys and a CDC map that put the voluntary state at the highest level of flu activity.
As we head into the holidays, doctors are warning of a new wave of illness and a possible “triple epidemic” – listing influenza, RSV and COVID-19 as the components that make up the viral trio.
This fall, children’s hospitals in Middle Tennessee reported a high number of children hospitalized with RSV. Additionally, the local urgent care center reported that a record number of patients came in for care after Thanksgiving.
“We cannot predict or ‘guess’ what will happen in the future, we can only use the data we have here and now, that is, the hospital situation is not good, not just for respiratory illnesses like RSV, but for any child or adult for that matter who might need a hospital bed who finds it occupied by someone infected with RSV,” said Dr Jennifer Ashton, medical director of ABC News.
Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga are three of the top ten cities nationwide for flu cases, according to data provided by Walgreens.
Dr Ashton says the holidays could make the situation worse and create a further spread of multiple infections.
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“We know that when people are on the move and they are moving and congregating and are in cold parts of the country, indoors with poor ventilation, these respiratory pathogens like to do their job, spread and transmit diseases and infecting people, and that’s what we see you,” Dr Ashton said.
The CDC says a tripledemic was not seen last season due to increased masking and fewer RSV cases.