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RSV, Influenza & COVID Tripledemic: Video FAQ with Dr. Meditz

RSV, Influenza & COVID Tripledemic: Video FAQ with Dr. Meditz

“Tripledemic” refers to a collision of RSV, influenza and COVID-19 that has the potential to overwhelm hospitals’ emergency departments. Boulder County and Boulder Community Health are seeing high rates of respiratory illness in adults and children early in the winter season.

Watch board-certified infectious disease specialist Amie Meditz, MD of BCH's Beacon Center for Infectious Diseases answer your questions about the tripledemic so you can keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.

00:06 BCH: Is the new COVID-19 bivalent vaccine safe?

Dr. Meditz: Yes. First and foremost, now is the time to make sure you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccination , including the new bivalent booster.

The new COVID-19 bivalent vaccine is simply an updated version of the original COVID-19 vaccine targeting the highly contagious Omicron variant. This is the same thing we do each year with the flu vaccine. This vaccine has an excellent safety profile.

00:32 BCH: Who should get vaccinated?

Dr Meditz: Everyone older than six months should get the flu vaccine, and everyone older than 5 years should get the bivalent COVID-19 booster.

Both vaccines reduce your chance of getting the virus, getting severe disease and being hospitalized. Additionally, the COVID-19 vaccine has shown to reduce your chances of getting long COVID.

Getting vaccinated means getting your immune system into shape and ready to go in case you get infected.

1:15 BCH: What if I just had COVID, do I need to get a booster?

Dr. Meditz: Yes – but maybe not yet.

Getting COVID-19 does provide some short-term immunity to COVID-19 infection. It is recommended you get a booster about 3 months after infection but speak to your doctor to make your decision.

1:46 BCH: After getting vaccinated, what else can I do to keep myself and my family healthy this season?

Dr. Meditz: We all have different immune systems and risk factors, meaning many people still choose to wear masks to stay safe. Wearing a mask will always provide you extra protection, even if others are not. Wash your hands often to prevent the spread of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other illnesses as well.

2:27 BCH: Why am I hearing so much about RSV?

Dr. Meditz: RSV is running rampant in our community’s children right now. In a typical year, 97% or more of young children are infected with RSV, and cases show up in late winter. However, because many of these young children have not yet been infected with RSV due to isolating during 2020 and 2021 or were just too young during that time to build up their immune system, the infection rates are extremely high already early in the season.

Symptoms of RSV include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Decreased appetite

If your child is in respiratory distress or has blue lips you need to seek immediate medical attention.

3:20 BCH: What is the tripledemic and what can I do about it?

Dr. Meditz: Get vaccinated. Wear a mask if you are able. Wash your hands often. Do not go to work or school if you are sick.

We are facing a challenging winter ahead. With increased rates of COVID-19, influenza and RSV, we are asking all our community members to wear their masks, when possible, to control the spread of many of these illnesses. Dr. Amie Meditz recommends you wash your hands often and wear a mask in public settings.

4:18 BCH: Do I still need to wear a mask when I come to BCH?

Dr. Meditz: Yes. You are required to wear a mask when you visit BCH to protect yourself, our patients and our critical health care workers from all respiratory illnesses.

Get Vaccinated

You can get vaccinated for influenza and COVID-19 at BCH by contacting your Primary Care Provider.

Find a Provider or login to MyBCH.

More resources:

CDC Fact Sheet on RSV in Infants and Young Children

Nation’s Health Care Organizations Urge COVID-19 and Influenza Vaccination and Treatment