US CDC expects ‘tripledemic’ hospitalisations to remain high this year

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WASHINGTON – The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday it expects the total number of hospitalisations from Covid-19, respiratory syncytial virus infections and flu this year to be similar to last year, higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The government health agency also said it expects flu and RSV infections to increase over the fall and winter seasons.

Vaccines for all three major respiratory viruses – Covid-19, flu, and RSV – will be available this fall, the CDC said.

Higher levels of vaccination across the population will help reduce the number of hospitalisations and risk of straining the country’s hospitals, CDC added.

The CDC on Tuesday signed off on the broad use of updated Covid-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and partner BioNTech SE as well as Moderna – covering ages six months and upward – as the country prepares to start a vaccination campaign within days.

A surge in cases of RSV infections coinciding with an increase in Covid-19 transmission and an earlier-than-normal flu season has raised the spectre of a so-called ‘tripledemic’ of respiratory illness across the United States. REUTERS

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