‘3 viruses at once’: Ohio doctors battle RSV, Covid-19, flu ahead of Christmas

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 3:01 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Doctors across Northeast Ohio are battling the “tripledemic,” also known as the combined threat of RSV, Covid-19 and influenza.

One local family has a serious reminder to take your health seriously. They know firsthand how sick you can get, and they warn it could wreck your holiday season.

“I couldn’t breathe, coughing all night long and I couldn’t sleep for three weeks, I had to sleep sitting up,” said Susan Allen.

It was three weeks of a nightmare. That’s how Thomas Allen and his wife Susan Allen described their experience catching RSV.

The couple told 19 News they are nervous they could land in the hospital again.

“It was the worst sickness I had in as long as I can remember,” said Susan Allen.

Dr. Christine Schmotzer with University Hospitals said doctors are seeing more patients come through the door with serious illnesses in the past couple of weeks.

“It’s three viruses at once. It’s something we just need everybody to continue to be safe,” said Dr. Schmotzer.

One illness, she said, is spreading at a quicker and more concerning rate.

“Influenza has definitely been the one increasing most recently. That’s the one over the past few weeks has really been rapidly increasing and infecting a higher population,” said Dr. Schmotzer.

Due to holiday gatherings, she said they are expecting case to jump in the new year.

“Really be careful, really think about are you having any symptoms and consider when it’s best to stay home and not go into those social settings,” Dr. Schmotzer said. “Masks can be very effective in stopping the spread.”

The Allens said they are keeping their Christmas gathering small. “Immediate family and that’s all,” said Thomas Allen.

If you have trouble breathing or have severe symptoms you should visit the Emergency room.

If you have mild symptoms, doctors suggest taking a trip to an Urgent Care.