BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The ‘tripledemic’ across the nation is spreading cases such as COVID-19, RSV, and Influenza into Louisiana causing an increase in occupied hospital beds and a decrease in Tamiflu treatment.
With COVID-19 still lingering in the capital city, LDH State Health Officer Dr. Joesph Kanter says the flu is the biggest thing they have their eyes on.
Kanter says that over one in 10 hospital visits is due to RSV, COVID, or the flu.
“That number is quite high it’s above both regional and national baseline and that’s the biggest thing we have our eyes on right now,” he adds.
Across the state, Dr. Kanter says that hospital beds are disappearing by the day, due to RSV, COVID, and the flu. However, Dr. Kanter mentions how neighboring states have it worse and hopes Louisiana doesn’t follow in their footsteps.
Dr. Kanter says that Louisiana’s hospital beds are full. He continues by explaining that Louisiana is not at the red line, other states in practical parts of Texas, some parts of California, and some parts of the northeast are in a real problem right now.
The flu in Louisiana has been a growing problem, and its peak season hasn’t started yet.
“It hit us about a month and a half earlier than it normally does. It’s already the worse flu season we have seen in the past five years,” said Kanter.
Over at Ochsner Health in Baton Rouge, a family medicine physician, Dr. Rachel Kermis, explains symptoms and possible treatments for these three viruses.
“There’s no true treatment to RSV,” she says the flu and COVID are very similar in symptoms.”
She explains how to differentiate between the three viruses.
“What differentiates those two from RSV is mainly the fever kind of muscle aches you don’t get them quite as much with RSV,” Dr. Kermis says.
When it comes to treatments in hospitals, like Tamiflu, are decreasing and getting harder to obtain.
“Right now we’re just having overall supply chain issues with getting certain medications,” she says. “If we can’t get Tamiflu for a patient, then we can do the newer medicine called Zoflusa.”
Experts still suggest wearing an N-95 mask, washing your hands, coughing into an elbow, and staying up to date on your shots is the best way to protect yourself for the holiday season.