DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Local health leaders are warning Ohioans that we could see a wave this winter of multiple viral infections at once. They’re calling it a ‘tripledemic’, one that may target children.
“Yes we are obviously concerned about a tripledemic,” said Greene County Public Health Public Informations Officer Laurie Fox. “Cases of COVID, cases of flu, and RSV are all starting to increase.”
The CDC reported an increase in Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, cases across the country which is particularly dangerous to children. Local health leaders are urging Ohioans to take extra precautions as winter approaches. They say COVID-19, influenza and RSV cases are already on the rise.
“It’s going to continue to push people inside and have events indoors and gather together indoors, so you’ll end up seeing an increase in viral illnesses,” said Fox.
Dayton Children’s Hospital confirmed they have 38 kids admitted with RSV, which other local health leaders believe may rise over the next several weeks.
“Children’s Hospitals across the state are at or near capacity and that would include Dayton Children’s Hospital,” said Clark County Combined Health District Communications Coordinator Nate Smith. “Dozens of children have reported suspected cases of RSV and we know that it’s definitely something that’s not just affected us across the state but also nationwide as well.”
Miami Valley Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roberto Colon is urging all Ohioans to get vaccinated and boosted ahead of a potential tripledemic.
“It’s crucial that we do everything we can to help protect kids when we can,” said Dr. Colon. “We have great vaccines for influenza as well as COVID, I would urge every parent to please get your children vaccinated for influenza and for those who qualify, get COVID boosters.”
Health leaders say COVID vaccines remain free right now but that could change early next year when the government’s supply runs out. It may require health insurance plans to cover the cost.