(KTLA) — Flu season is fast approaching, and with rising COVID-19 cases and RSV cases increasing in the Southeast, public health officials are urging the public to prepare to head off what some worry could be a “tripledemic.”
Fortunately, vaccines are available for all three viruses.
About two-thirds of Americans plan to get the annual flu shot, according to pharmacy chain CVS.
Similar to the treatments for COVID-19, RSV — or respiratory syncytial virus — can be treated with monoclonal antibodies, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects to be ready by early October.
Furthermore, two new vaccines created by GSK and Pfizer “are available to protect older adults from severe RSV disease,” the CDC said.
And the newest COVID-19 vaccine boosters are expected to roll out this month, possibly as soon as next week.
COVID hospitalizations have been increasing, from about 6,000 a week at the beginning of the summer to more than 15,000 the week of Aug. 19, the most recent week of federal data. But in 96% of the country, COVID hospitalizations are considered low, according to the CDC.
The percentage of U.S. deaths attributed to COVID in late August – 2% – was up from 1.7% the week before.
The RSV season usually starts in fall and peaks in winter. In recent weeks, more positive cases for the virus have been reported in Florida and Georgia, the CDC said in an alert issued Tuesday.
For more information about the viruses, vaccines and treatments, visit the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health website.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.