Staying Healthy During a ‘Tridemic’

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Local and national health authorities are warning of an unprecedented “tridemic” surging throughout communities comprising seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19. The surge of these viruses at a time when medical and hospital resources are already stretched thin is straining our medical system and healthcare workers alike, as well as posing a significant threat to public health.

Overlake’s Emergency Department and Urgent Care Clinics are already seeing unprecedented patient volumes relating to the flu and RSV, along with an anticipated resurgence of COVID-19 during the winter season.

Overlake Infectious Disease Specialist Edward Leonard II, MD, offers guidance for protecting against this potential triple threat.

Why is this happening? For the past two and a half to three years, we’ve been sequestered, wearing a mask a lot more in a lot more places, so people just weren’t being exposed. It’s even possible to contract more than one of these viruses at the same time, so it’s important to maintain simple infection prevention measures that can help keep everyone safe.

What does this mean? How can I protect myself and my family?

Now is not the time to relax your own infection prevention measures.

  • Washing your hands regularly remains one of the easiest and most effective tools we have to avoid getting sick. Thorough hand washing can help prevent RSV, the flu and COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask in crowded places.
  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu.
  • If you are sick, stay home and don’t go to work.
  • Stay away from anyone who is sick.

What is RSV? How is it different from COVID-19 and the flu?

RSV is one of a large group of respiratory viruses that cause what we commonly refer to as “cold symptoms” in adults and children, such as runny nose, cough, sneezing and fever. These symptoms can progress into much more significant respiratory symptoms, including difficulty breathing and dehydration.

Some flu and RSV symptoms are similar and include fevers, chills, vomiting and diarrhea. Stay home if you feel sick with any of these symptoms.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms, isolate at home, limit contact with others and don't go to work, school, or out in public. If you don’t have symptoms, take precautions by wearing a mask at all times when indoors for the first 10 days after exposure and getting tested on the fifth day. If you test negative, continue precautions through day 10; if you test positive, isolate immediately until symptoms resolve and you test negative,

Taking preventive measures can help reduce your risk of flu, COVID-19 and RSV, and keep you and your family healthy. Make an appointment with your Overlake Clinics Primary Care provider today to schedule a flu shot. Visit or for locations offering COVID-19 vaccination and booster shots.

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