Just when you thought things were back to normal, signs of a "tridemic" are emerging.
The New York Times reported this week that children's hospitals around the country are completely overwhelmed with cases of RSV, flu, and COVID. RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) is a lung condition that commonly crops up in kids at this time of year.
Most cases are mild - just 1 in 500 are hospitalized. Problem is, far more kids are getting RSV this year, and the wave is coming earlier than expected. The infection count is so huge that even a small hospitalization rate yields more dire cases than can be handled.
“Every children’s hospital that I’m aware of is absolutely swamped,” said Dr. Coleen Cunningham, the pediatrician in chief at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, California.
So what's causing the surge? A lack of recent exposure, according to experts. Years of masking and social distancing have caused our immune systems to atrophy.
"The immune system works by recognition and repetition. We now have a generation of immune-naive children,” laments Dr. Sarah Combs of Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.
The solution? Not a vaccine (RSV vaccines don't exist). It's the "usual suspects" of immune strength. Proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep!