KODE Medical Focus — According to the CDC, about 20,000 people nationwide were hospitalized last week with the flu. That’s nearly double the amount from the week before.

The “tripledemic” remains an issue in many parts of the country. That’s the flu, COVID, and RSV.

Here in Joplin, Freeman Health System officials tell us flu cases, so far, haven’t been too bad.

“I would categorize them as mild to moderate. The severity of cases certainly the more severe cases we’re seeing in kind of that elderly population, as well as patients who are immunocompromised or have underlying, chronic medical conditions such as respiratory illness or cardiac disease,” said Angela Tucker, FHS. “So far, since the beginning of the flu season, we are seeing an earlier spike in data, but when you compare to pre-pandemic, 2019 to 2020 flu season, we’re really in line. Our volume of cases at this point are not higher than they were pre-pandemic. It is recommended that any ill person who’s going to be around other people, it’s still recommended that they mask, but, you know, aside from disinviting them to Christmas, a lot of people, they’re really over the pandemic, and they want to get together. Again, hand washing, distancing as much as you possibly can, those are the best practices to prevent illness.”

One other note out of the CDC, all four of the Four States report what are called “very high” levels of “IlI.” They’re not confirmed flu cases — rather doctor or hospital visits for respiratory illness that include fever, cough, or sore throat.