An ominous term that emerged recently because of concurrent outbreaks of COVID-19, flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). With winter coming in strong in the Northern Hemisphere, the United States and the United Kingdom are bracing for bad flu seasons in the ongoing winter months, with health authorities already seeing an earlier-than-usual surge in cases, piling on pressure to the healthcare system.
But just how worried should we be?
In Singapore, influenza activity typically increases around the year-end, with the December school holidays and festive celebrations. People tend to travel overseas or gather in large groups. Travelling to colder destinations in the Northern Hemisphere where influenza transmission is active could also mean people catch the flu and bring the virus back when they return.
The reality is that seasonal influenza is associated with 290,000 to 650,000 deaths globally every year. In Singapore, hospitalization rate has been at 50.1 per 100,000 person-years, but higher rates are found in young children and the elderly aged over 65 years. It is noteworthy that RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States. We need to protect our vulnerable loved ones amid the current “Tripledemic”.
Prevention is always better than cure.
Block out viruses by using 3 simple steps: