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HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — RSV, flu, and COVID cases are what make up the so called “Tridemic.”

There is major concern on how this can overwhelm hospitals across the Valley as the holiday season quickly approaches.

“This is not over, it has significantly improved but it is not over,” Hidalgo County Health Authority leader Dr. Ivan Melendez said.

Before you prepare for holiday travel, Christmas dinner, the traditional white elephant with loved ones and more health experts say ongoing illnesses can put a strain on family gatherings.

“So, I would expect to see an increase in cases throughout December into January the hospitals have been very busy constantly ever since things have gotten back to normal they’re constantly busy with one thing to another,” Cameron County Health leader Dr. James Castillo said.

Cameron County health officials have seen a slight increase in cases yet expect more after Christmas and Hidalgo County health experts expect the same.

“We saw a spike after Thanksgiving, we expect a spike after Christmas so here’s what people need to do number 1: if you haven’t been vaccinated and boosted, what are you waiting for?” Dr. Ivan Melendez asks.

Dr. Melendez says current numbers in illnesses are affecting all ages.

“If you would’ve asked me 10 days ago, we had about 20 people with COVID pneumonia in the hospital. Today we have 40. 10 are in the ICU. We also have four kids in the hospital right now that have COVID. The same thing goes for the flu. We were hoovering 18-22 today. We have 24 people in the hospital with flu at which two are in the ICU,” Dr. Melendez said.

For the Christmas season, doctors expect people to travel and spend time with loved ones, but you must take the proper precautions before each gathering.

“Looking at the flu and COVID specifically you definitely want to make sure you are up to date with your vaccines, you want to have your boosters you want to have your flu vaccine that’s the best protection you can have,” Dr. Castillo said.

“We are still seeing flu we are still seeing COVID and we are still seeing RSV,” Medical Director DHR Health CISD physician urgent care Dr. Marissa Gomez-Martinez said.

Dr. Gomez-Martinez says if others don’t take these proper measures, such as getting your booster, washing your hands and not leaving your home when you are ill, that runs the risk of straining the health care system.

“So, we have to make sure to do our best, do all these preventative measures to avoid hospitalization especially in those high-risk patients because you don’t want to have your loved one not be able to have a hospital bed,” Dr. Gomez-Martinez said.

Doctors also advise parents to talk to your child’s school or daycare and communicate to see if there are any sicknesses going around.

So that way you can remove your child before they are around other loved ones during the Christmas holiday.

“And then do those things that we always talked about in terms of preventing illness if you’re sick don’t get together right if you know you’re already sick don’t bring that home to your friends and loved ones,” Dr. Castillo said.

Staying safe from ‘tridemic’ during holiday season

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