Tripledemic Is Here: A Complete Guide to Help You Prepare

Dec 12, 2022

Urgent Care


Just as we began to believe that the COVID-19 pandemic was ending, specialists fear that this winter will bring a wave of tripledemic. The tripledemic is the combination of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza (flu), and COVID-19. With COVID persisting for the last three years and flu season arriving, the world was already expecting to suffer from the twindemic. However, the early onset of RSV has now pushed us toward a triple threat causing panic among healthcare workers. 

Many RSV treatment providers in the nation are experiencing a rush due to an increase in respiratory viruses, leaving them with no open beds for new patients. RSV symptoms are mostly seen in infants aged 12 months or less, the elderly, people with heart and lung illnesses, and those with weakened immune systems. According to estimates, RSV infection kills roughly 14,000 Americans over the age of 65 and sends about 58,000 kids to the hospital.

Here’s the complete guide to help you understand Tripledemic and take timely actions to protect yourself!

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) infects the lungs and respiratory system. It's so widespread that most children are infected by age two. RSV symptoms in adults and older adults are usually minor and misunderstood as the common cold. Some persons can develop a serious illness from RSV that results in death.  Self-care actions alleviate the discomfort and make it simpler to carry out other RSV treatments. RSV can persist long on solid surfaces like worktops and railings. 

Children are frequently vulnerable to RSV in public places like schools and daycare facilities. The infection can then spread to other family members through them. There are currently no flu shots available to protect against RSV infection. However, seeking urgent care in Bakersfield, CA, can prevent the spread.

RSV Symptoms

Early signs and symptoms of RSV infection often occur after four to six days of virus exposure. RSV commonly produces mild cold-like symptoms in adults and elder children. Below are the most common RSV symptoms observed in adults, severe cases, and infants.

Common Symptoms in Adults

  • Runny or clogged nose
  • Wet cough
  • A minor fever
  • Throat discomfort 
  • Consistent Sneezing
  • Headache

RSV Symptoms in Infants

RSV has a particularly bad effect on infants. Infants with a severe RSV infection may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Fast, shallow, and short breaths
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Cough and Wheeze
  • Poor nutrition
  • Unusual fatigue 
  • Irritability

Symptoms in extreme cases

RSV infection can potentially migrate to the lower respiratory tract, resulting in pneumonia or inflammation of the lungs' airways. Some warning signs include:

  • Fever
  • Acute cough
  • High Wheezing while exhaling. 
  • Respiratory difficulties may cause a person to lie down
  • Lack of oxygen leads to bluish skin (cyanosis)

Most kids and adults recover in one to two weeks with a proper RSV treatment, while some may continue to experience difficulty breathing. Premature infants or anyone with chronic heart or lung issues may develop a severe or life-threatening infection requiring hospitalization.

Causes of RSV

People can catch the respiratory syncytial virus through their mouths, nostrils, or eyes. Infection can spread to elderly individuals or kids if an RSV carrier coughs or sneezes nearby. Indirect contact, such as shaking hands, can also spread the virus to other people.

The virus survives on hard surfaces like toys, rails, door knobs, and tables. After handling an infected object, you have a higher probability of contracting the virus if you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. The initial week of infection is the most contagious and dangerous stage. The virus may remain active for up to four weeks in newborns and people with chronic illness or weak immune systems even after RSV symptoms have subsided. Visit a walk-in urgent care in Bakersfield, CA to receive timely medication.

What Can You Do to Reduce Risks of Illness?

Antibiotics cannot be used to treat RSV since it is a viral infection. As the immune system battles the virus, RSV treatment primarily concentrates on relief and keeping the person as comfortable as possible. 

You can reduce the risk of spread by:

  • Use a tissue instead of using your hands while coughing
  • Rinse your hands with warm water and soap regularly
  • Avoid being near individuals, especially those who are sick with the illness
  • Clean and disinfect toys, items, and areas that are regularly touched
  • Keep your sick kids home from daycare or school
  • Try to minimize your child's time in large social gatherings during the RSV season
  • Take flu shots at regular intervals and boost your immune system

What’s the Difference Between COVID-19, Flu, and RSV?

There aren't many differences between the three on the grounds of symptoms. However, COVID-19, flu, and RSV vary significantly based on how long they take to spread and the medication they require. Compare the differences between the three below:


COVID symptoms usually occur 2 to 14 days after infection. Periodic COVID testing is advisable. It can result in a more serious disease than the flu.


Compared to the flu, COVID-19 infections may take longer for symptoms to develop and cause prolonged contagiousness. Symptoms are shown after 1 to 4 days. In addition, it can lead to pneumonia. Taking regular flu shots helps prevent transmission.


RSV is frequently experienced from late fall through early spring. RSV symptoms typically last between 5 and 7 days and are most severe from days 3 to 5. RSV is more severe than COVID and the flu.

Treat Viral Infections with Proper Care at StatMD Urgent Care

The tripledemic is extremely contagious and can take a toll on your life. Therefore, prompt treatment is essential to keeping you on the road to recovery. If you're seeking urgent care in Bakersfield, CA, you will need one with comprehensive treatment services. At Urgent Care Bakersfield, we strive to serve you with RSV treatments, COVID testing, and the latest flu vaccines. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, come visit us today.

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