UC Health: Triple Header, Covid, Flu & RSV. Yes That Is Happening!

The following article, titled “Did you know you can get combinations of COVID, flu and RSV at the same time?” was written by Katie Kerwin McCrimmon for UCHealth Today.

“It’s been a rough winter for respiratory viruses, and some hospitalized patients are testing positive for combinations of COVID-19, flu and RSV at the same time…”

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Dr. Michelle Barron is one of the top infectious disease experts in the Rocky Mountain Region. She’s keeping a close eye on cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV during the winter respiratory virus season. Photo by Sonya Doctorian.

The symptoms of these dual infections are similar to those that people would have if they had one illness: a bad cough, a fever, aches, exhaustion and difficulty breathing for some.

It’s impossible to say whether people who have double infections of COVID-19 and flu or flu and RSV or RSV and COVID feel twice as lousy.

“They feel pretty terrible,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention and control for UCHealth and a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

While some people are getting double whammy illnesses, others are getting COVID-19, then getting hit almost immediately with a case of influenza or RSV, or the other way around.

Getting two respiratory viruses at the same time is called a co-infection. Getting them one after another is known as a sequential infection.

A small percentage of patients who are so sick that they need to be hospitalized for flu, COVID-19 or RSV – less than 5% – are testing positive for two infections at the same time, Barron said.

If you, your friends or your family members are sick right now, you’re not alone. And if you feel really lousy, be sure to get help from your doctor. It’s possible that they’ll have some medications that can help you.

When should you seek help from a doctor?…

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