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Texas ‘Tripledemic’ concerns rise as flu, COVID, and RSV cases converge.



Some hospitals are now over capacity with flu, respiratory illnesses, and new COVID variants combining for an unprecedented surge.


Experts warn that with surges of other respiratory viruses and a likely new wave of COVID-19 infections, North Texans could be in for a rough winter ahead.


This Texas Department of Health and Human Services map shows flu or illnesses with flu-like symptoms spreading.


However, RSV is surging right now among children.


"We're seeing a lot of the children's hospitals getting filled up with patients right now," said Dr. David Winter at Baylor Scott and White. "It's the biggest surge I've seen in a long time."


At Parkland Hospital in Dallas, officials say they've received requests for bed space from area children's hospitals.


"We got a call from Children's Health the other day, looking for a hospital bed for a kid who needed a hospital bed admission for RSV. They're out of the room. Every pediatric ward in Dallas is out of the room," said Parkland Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Chang.


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Chang said weekly flu numbers are the highest they've been since the start of the pandemic.


"The number one thing is going to be preventing flu. There's a shot. Get it. COVID? There are many shots! Get them. RSV is more like your common cold where you must avoid transmitting it and catching it from other folks," said Chang.


Experts predict COVID cases will rise as temperatures drop and people gather indoors for the holidays.


Experts are concerned about a "triple threat" virus surge or a "tripledemic" of influenza, RSV, and COVID-19, which could overwhelm health systems and stretch medical resources.


These include antivirals, which can be used to treat the flu.


"There could be a trifecta of the bad disease this year," said Winter.

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