Results are in on 'tripledemic' viruses' hospital burden this season: 4 notes

The combined effects of flu, respiratory syncytial virus and COVID-19 this season led to similar levels of hospitalizations and illness, but there were smaller peaks of COVID-19 and RSV compared to the 2022-2023 virus season.

Although two of the three viruses that can lead to a "tripledemic" burden on U.S. hospitals had smaller peaks this season, all three viruses peaked close together in time resulting in a similar number of total hospitalization as last season, according to data compiled by Airfinity, a U.K.-based information services company.

Previous reports predicted that a tripledemic wave could occur in the U.S. toward the end of January, which was correct. This was later than the tripledemic virus peak that occurred in the 2022-2023 season, which happened around December. 

All three viruses resulted in a total of 693,000 hospitalizations throughout the U.S. this winter. 

Three more notes from the report: 

  • In the U.S., COVID-19 was responsible for the majority of hospitalizations this season. Hospitalizations due to the virus were 2.3 times higher than influenza and 2.7 times higher than RSV.

  • COVID-19 led to a total of 385,000 hospital admissions this season, which is down almost 30% from 545,000 the previous year.

  • As COVID-19 becomes less severe in years to come, the tripledemic burden on hospitals could go down.

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