What’s the Tripledemic?

What you need to know and how to prepare



Public health has been put through the wringer following the COVID-19 outbreak. Every year since has brought new challenges in an ever changing viral landscape. Now medical experts and health organizations are warning the public about a new hurdle — “the tripledemic.” Here, we break down what facility and office managers need to know to navigate this latest health concern.

What exactly is the “Tripledemic?”

The “triple” in tripledemic refers to this season’s simultaneous convergence of COVID-19, the annual flu, and another severe respiratory illness called Respiratory Syncytial Virus (or RSV). RSV, like the others, is a disease that affects the respiratory tract, and for most manifests as cold-like symptoms. More severe cases, however, can lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia, particularly in children.

Why all at once?

As seen previously in the pandemic, COVID-19 cases have typically spiked during the winter season, as people travel for the holidays, increasing potential exposure. This year’s seasonal spikes are lower than past waves, but hospitalization and death rates nationwide have been steadily rising since November.

Then comes the regressive return of the flu and an RSV surge. For the past three years, these illnesses remained near dormant thanks to COVID-19 prevention methods, such as lockdowns, physical distancing and mask wearing. This creates what experts call an “immunity gap.” Exposure to common pathogens usually trains our immune system to be ready when diseases strike. However, the sustained drop in exposure the past few years has left our general immunity less prepared, and thus more vulnerable to new strains of the flu and RSV.

The combinations of all of the above create today’s perfect storm of viral respiratory infections.

What now?

tripledemicPreparation always proves the best offense. This is particularly important when dealing with infectious diseases. Adopting these strategies below will go far in protecting your facility.

Promote personal protection:

Empower your team to protect themselves by providing convenient personal hygiene options on hand, including public hand sanitizer dispensers and face masks. For those who suspect exposure to COVID-19, encourage them to take advantage of the new free public COVID-19 test kit program.

Consider a deep clean:

The end-of-year period has traditionally been the time to schedule a facility deep cleaning, as occupants thin out during the holiday season. Scheduling a deep cleaning session would be immensely valuable in response to the tripledemic, particularly as people return from the holiday break.

Disinfect and disinfect:

Regular disinfection, particularly on high-touch surfaces, helps combat the spread of flu-causing germs. At SparkleTeam, we also use specialized disinfectants to target specific viruses, such as products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) List N to destroy all strains and variants of COVID-19.