The triple pandemic that brings with it the Covid, flu and bronchiolitis generates a lot of concern in the world. Even more so, when we are in the middle of the winter season. In addition, the largest number of affected patients today are children.
After the global health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitals faced one of the worst moments in their history. However, after the arrival of the different vaccines against the coronavirus, the figures for admissions caused by this disease fell considerably. However, the current problem is focused on the increase in cases of new variants. In addition, flu complications and cases of bronchiolitis in children
For this reason, Spain and many other countries are once again filled with respiratory viruses. In this sense, it is necessary to know what measures we must to take if we want to avoid respiratory diseases during this winter season represente a new health emergency problem.
What is Tripledemic?
Before analyzing the importance of the growth in infections of these epidemics, it is important to be clear about what it is.
Tripledemic is how the coexistence of Covid, flu and bronchiolitis is currently known. That is, all three diseases (or epidemics) happening at the same time. It is important to mention that these types of diseases are more common in children and babies. In addition, in the case of bronchiolitis, it is possible that the complication ends in pneumonia, as was already happening with Covid-19.
In Spain there are hardly any restrictive measures left due to Covid-19. Thanks to this, normal life has resumed in all cities and communities. On the other hand, tourism is recovering by leaps and bounds. Taking the above into account, it is normal for infections due to certain viral diseases to increase.
Additionally, experts speak of a time with a greater number of flu cases. The reason for this is the low exposure of the immune system due to the period of confinement and because the nasobuccal masks. The researchers define this fact as “immune borrowing”.
The three diseases in this group have very similar symptoms. Among the most important are the headache, cough, fever, wheezing, rapid breathing, or sinking in of the abdominal area when breathing. and nasal congestion. This issue does not only affect Spain. in fact, there are other countries such as Chile, Mexico and the United States that are also within the group of those affected by tripledemic.
Is tripledemic that serious?
The reality is most experts point out that these respiratory diseases are not so serious compared to the ravages caused by Covid-19 in its early days.. In fact, specialists point out that a large part of the patients do not experience serious symptoms, so it is not necessary for them to remain hospitalized.
This is the reason why hospitals are full of more and more patients. Beyond the seriousness of the case, it is about the number of people who are affected by some of the three diseases that we mentioned before. This is why the figures reach really high peaks that deserve attention.
Concern for Covid, flu and bronchiolitis
After the pandemic, respiratory viruses are advancing with great force. It is no secret to anyone that the coronavirus left behind diseases like the flu. Covid-19 is not exactly a disease that attacks healthy children to a greater extent. Nevertheless, it represents a problem in those children with specific health conditions.
On the other hand, the flu and bronchiolitis can be complicated to the point of becoming cases of pneumonia in children.. In clearer words, bronchiolitis is one of the respiratory diseases that generates the greatest amount of medical admissions in terms of the child population.
Due to the above, it is key to consult a pediatrician in the event of any symptoms related to any of the above diseases in order to avoid possible pneumonia.
Who are the most affected by Covid, flu and bronchiolitis?
Although most children do not develop severe cases of coronavirus, they are the ones with the highest risk of contagion. However, when it comes to RSV (bronchiolitis) the prognosis is totally opposite. The reality is that at least 90% of the cases received for this disease are from children with a mean age of 2 years.
This aspect generates concern in the general population. The reality is that fathers and mothers of families must deal with additional responsibilities due to the viral diseases of each season.
However, and despite all this, there is good news. Although with the arrival of winter, the numbers of cases per Covid, flu and bronchiolitis are increasing, the curve tends to improve over the next few days.
In the case of the flu, children under 5 years of age They are the ones who get sick the most. This group is followed closely by children between the ages of 5 and 14. Added to this is the fact that, according to an analysis by the flu sentinel surveillance system, the highest rates of Covid-19 affect infants from 0 to 4 years of age.
Is it possible to avoid the contagion of Covid, flu and bronchiolitis in children?
To tell the truth, it is almost impossible to think of total immunity when it comes to a viral respiratory disease. However, it is possible to take some measures to protect the child population from massive contagion.
The most important thing, in any case, is to keep in mind the complexity of these diseases and their possible complications. Based on the above, it is possible to take some preventive measures such as the following:
- Maintain the use of masks in spaces with little ventilation where babies or children are whenever there are any symptoms compatible with respiratory diseases.
- Do not kiss children or babies.
- Avoid visiting children (or babies) with symptoms of Covid-19, flu and bronchiolitis.
- Wash hands frequently. Even more so when trying to catch an infant.
- Keep the baby/child away from environments where there are people with flu symptoms or any other respiratory disease.
- Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing.
- Always carry disposable tissues for hand hygiene, as well as hydroalcoholic gel.
- In enclosed spaces, ensure as much ventilation as possible. This allows all the contaminated air to leave the place and not accumulate, generating infectious pictures.
- Do not share cutlery and, in the case of babies, avoid sharing pacifiers or bottles.
- Do not take children with symptoms of Covid-19, flu and bronchiolitis to school or kindergarten.
Importance of vaccination to prevent complications from Covid, flu and bronchiolitis
In addition to the preventive measures mentioned above, it is key to remember the importance of keeping the vaccination schedule up to date.. This is an effective method to prevent children from presenting health complications after suffering from any respiratory disease.
The Spanish Association of Pediatrics suggests vaccinating all infants over six months of age against influenza. In fact, there are communities in which vaccination is totally free.
In addition, an intranasal flu vaccine is available this year. in drugstores. This type of vaccine is applied from 2 years of age to 16 years. Without a doubt, it represents a great advantage since it is not necessary to use a needle. By having a nasal application, it generates an immune effect very similar to the natural one. This aspect allows it to be more effective.
The graphs point to a decrease in the cases of Covid-19, flu and bronchiolitis.
Despite the viral context that is being experienced right now, specialists affirm that there is no reason to panic. The spread of diseases caused by SARS-CoV, RSV and influenza begins to decrease. In fact, some statistics indicate that the number of infections is not higher compared to the period before Covid-19.
With regard to the flu, the same thing happens. Cases continue to decline markedly. Finally, Covid-19 does not currently represent an alarm scenario when ICU admissions and hospitalizations in general are evaluated. Mortality rates have dropped as well. However, it is necessary to protect all risk groups (elderly people, people with chronic respiratory diseases, etc.).
Viral diseases are part of human nature. The reality is that we are always exposed to possible contagion. Although it is true that we cannot avoid it entirely, preventive measures need to be considered to avoid complications. In addition, vaccination is essential. Especially in babies and children.
Now, you have to stay calm about the possibility of getting sick. Most experts explain that it is something normal and temporary. In any case, the best we can do is assist with a health professional.
If you are concerned about this issue or have any symptoms compatible with any of the diseases that make up Tripledemia, do not hesitate to contact us. We have a Pneumology service with extensive experience in the treatment and prevention of respiratory diseases caused by seasonal viruses.
In addition, we carry out Covid-Test and flu tests every day of the week.