A ‘tripledemic’ of flu, RSV and COVID is feared in California.
We’re in an age of mass-market pandemics — not unlike the pandemic of 1918 or the Spanish flu a century before.
But many experts worry the new coronavirus — which is also known as coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 — may have a ‘tripledeminated’ effect on health, requiring multiple drugs and vaccines for treatment.
That includes the influenza vaccine now being stockpiled.
While many experts agree that flu season has begun, they also believe the new virus, which originated in China, is likely to come roaring back.
As the pandemic rages on, here’s more on the three viruses.
What’s the flu?
Every year between November and April, one to two million people are infected with influenza, which is caused by a virus.
And while many people contract the flu in the winter, the virus is most commonly transmitted in children during the spring and summer.
In 2013, 693,000 people in the US were diagnosed with flu, an increase of 60,000 over the number diagnosed in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season is now underway.
How is this virus spread?
The majority of people who contract or become infected with influenza will experience mild symptoms, while a minority will develop severe complications and even die.
Symptoms vary from mild common coldness to more severe complications such as pneumonia and death.
Many people infected with flu also develop what’s known as a’super-spreader’ infection, who may be asymptotic for months, or even years.
In the US, a’super-spreader’ infection is a person who develops symptoms that appear to be caused by influenza and have been confirmed for a year, before a diagnosis is made.
This infection is typically a mild respiratory infection that produces flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough and body aches.
This infection results in a small percentage of otherwise healthy adults experiencing flu-like symptoms for several months, before being diagnosed with influenza.