LONDON – The threat of the “Tripledemic”, i.e. three coinciding factors that can put the public system in serious difficulty in winter, is already in great difficulty with long waiting lists and lack of personnel post-Brexit. It is something that has already been discussed in America and other Western countries, but which could be even more problematic across the Channel in the coming months, given the particular context in place in the United Kingdom.
First, there’s a boom in flu hospitalizations. Last week the average was 344 patients in hospital, even ten times the previous year, when there were only 31, according to data from the British health “NHS”. The reasons are not clear, but it is plausible that the increase is due to one onset of the disease after the lowering of the immune defenses due to the prolonged use of masks, plus the action of other viruses such as respiratory viruses generally in November and obviously Covid and Long Covid from which at least two million Britons would suffer according to the latest estimates. The fact is that, as reported Sky News80% of the beds for these and other serious pathologies are already occupied.
Then, as a second factor, there is of course the Covid. Even if the threat this winter seems milder compared to expectations. In fact, cases and hospitalizations have been declining since mid-October, a sign that the latest wave has been shorter than expected. Patients admitted to the hospital at the moment 4,600, of which 3,321 entered last week and 117 in intensive care. The lack of intensive care beds for children is more worrying: at the moment only 33 are free, the lowest point ever reached last winter.
Another sign that you get sicker, especially at the moment influence, which can seriously affect the elderly but also the youngest with other pre-existing pathologies and above all children who, due to lockdowns and masks, have not yet been exposed to viruses such as respiratory syncytial viruses that cause diseases such as bronchiolitis and childhood pneumonia. “The situation for children at the moment is terrible”, says an anonymous doctor to Sky, “but it seems that nobody talks about it”. According to the Pediatric Critical Care Society, the problem “is only going to get worse in the coming months.”
A problem that, and we are at the third factor of the dreaded “tripledemic”, fits with the current dire state of British healthcare, weakened by Covid and above all by staff shortages. The latest bad news concerns ambulances: one in four calls to the 999 emergency number have been lost in the last month, according to the latest NHS data, and at least 5,000 patients have suffered “serious damage” from being treated late.