OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Local health officials want to remind you to be aware of the ‘tripledemic’ – COVID-19, RSV and the flu – ahead of this holiday season.
According to CDC data, Oklahoma sits in the very high category for the flu. Our surrounding states are also sitting in the very high category for the same virus.
“I think it’s just a matter of time before we see even more cases of influenza in Oklahoma,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler with OU Health.
Bratzler said he hasn’t seen any critical issues within Oklahoma hospitals, but the Sooner State did see a spike in both COVID-19 and flu cases as well as hospitalizations after the Thanksgiving holiday.
This is also after the state was seeing a rise in RSV cases, causing health officials to sound the alarm.
“So, nationally, we’re at the highest level of COVID hospitalizations that we’ve been now for a number of weeks,” Bratzler said.
There are just over 5,600 cases active in Oklahoma. The state is also sitting at 204 hospitalizations with 47 of them being in the ICU.
“If you look at the map of the variants that are in our region of the country, that’s changed dramatically over the past couple of months,” Bratzler said.
The state is also seeing multiple variants and four of them are new. All four of the newer variants are resistant to monoclonal antibody treatments that the hospitals had to treat patients or even prevent COVID-19.
“The new variants that are out there, you can still get infected, even if you’ve had previous infection with COVID or some of the old vaccine doses without the new booster,” Bratzler said.
Three of those variants account for almost 70 percent of new cases as of Nov. 25.
Bratzler said they have other antibody treatments they use but have run into issues as the virus becomes resistant to them among other things.
“We are struggling now a bit more with what our treatment options are for COVID 19,” he said. “So again, I’m strongly recommending people get at least one dose of the new COVID booster.”
Bratzler said even when he’s in the hospital he’s seeing more COVID patients.
They also had to stop using one antibody treatment due to complications it can cause with other medications and the variants’ resistance to it.