The Perfect Enemy | The ‘Tripledemic,’ Explained
December 1, 2022

The ‘Tripledemic,’ Explained

The ‘Tripledemic,’ Explained  The New York Times

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Sydney HarperRachel Quester and

MJ Davis Lin and

Dan PowellMarion Lozano and


This winter, three major respiratory viruses — respiratory syncytial virus or R.S.V., the flu and the coronavirus — are poised to collide in the United States in what some health officials are calling a “tripledemic.”

What does this collision have to do with our response to the coronavirus pandemic, and why are children so far the worst affected?


Apoorva Mandavilli, a science and global health reporter for The New York Times.

Receiving a coronavirus test. Viruses that were pushed aside by Covid-19 or by precautions the past couple of winters are now back in full force.
Jordan Macy for The New York Times
  • Most cases of Covid, flu and R.S.V. are likely to be mild, but together they may sicken millions of Americans and swamp hospitals, public health experts warned.

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Apoorva Mandavilli contributed reporting.

Fact-checked by Susan Lee.

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