December 9, 2023

New Year, Same Viruses: Post-Holiday ‘Tridemic’ Uptick Monitored

State officials and hospital systems in New York and California are on alert for a surge in covid, RSV, and flu cases after the holiday season. Public health experts urge the federal government to take greater mitigation steps now.

The Hill:
Experts Urge Domestic Action Against Winter COVID Surge

Much of the U.S. is in the throes of a winter COVID-19 surge with cases poised to eclipse last year’s summer peak, driven by new variants, waning immunity and holiday gatherings.  … But public health experts are expressing frustration that instead of focusing on mitigation measures including masking and improved ventilation, U.S. officials have turned their attention towards China. (Weixel, 1/4)

Fears Of Tridemic After Holiday Break

New York City is warning of the rising threat of the “tridemic” — a mix of an increase in Covid-19 cases, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus. In recent weeks, flu cases in New York City already surpassed the rate during the peak of the last four flu seasons. Meanwhile, Covid and RSV cases have increased during the same period as the holidays end and people go back to work and school, city officials said. (Spector, 1/3)

Ars Technica:
New Omicron Subvariant Surges To 40.5% As COVID Hospitalizations Rise

National hospitalization rates now rival those from the peak over this past summer driven by bygone omicron subvariants, federal data shows. Some of the areas seeing the large upticks in hospitalizations are those where the new subvariant, XBB.1.5 is most prevalent. For instance, in the Northeast (federal health region 1), XBB.1.5 has the highest regional proportion, accounting for 75 percent of cases, and hospitalizations have risen 16 percent over the prior seven days, the largest region-specific rise, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Mole, 1/3)

Los Angeles Times:
California Hospitals Still Stressed By Flu, RSV, COVID Levels

The start of the year is bringing with it a mild reprieve in the so-called tripledemic, but some Southern California hospitals remain stressed by the still-high circulation of flu, COVID-19 and RSV. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is still so busy that it cannot always accommodate transfers of patients from other hospitals, according to Dr. James Stein, the facility’s chief medical officer, in a statement. (Money, Lin II and Martinez, 1/3)

Meanwhile, the side-effects of the pandemic continue to impact lives —

Move On From COVID? Child Care Disruptions Continue

This fall and winter have upended life for working parents of little children, who thought the worst of the pandemic was behind them. The arrival of vaccines for younger children and the end of quarantines for COVID exposure were supposed to bring relief. Instead, families were treated to what some called a “tripledemic.” (Hollingsworth and Savage, 1/3)

And in a global context, surging covid in China causes worries, among other health concerns —

3 Challenges To Watch In Global Health In 2023

For the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, people working in the infectious diseases and global health spheres were largely focused on the new disease. In 2022, however, gears shifted. Covid didn’t go away, but diseases like flu that had been held in abeyance by the new virus and the measures we used to slow its spread — well, they’re baaack. (Branswell, 1/4)


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