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Gov. Kathy Hochul outlines steps New York is taking to fight RSV, flu and COVID uptick

Doctors across New York reporting rise in multiple illnesses
Doctors across New York reporting rise in multiple illnesses 01:55

NEW YORK -- There are warnings of a tri-demic in New York state due to spikes in flu, COVID and RSV cases.

As CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul says she has a plan to keep New Yorkers healthy.

"Complacency is our enemy," Hochul said.

READ MORERising RSV cases threaten to overwhelm hospitals in our area, nationwide

The governor says state residents are surrounded by sick people, and many have let their guards down.

"Only 13% of the population over 5 has received a booster shot, 13%," Hochul said.

She says vaccines are critical to preventing major illnesses that could overwhelm hospitals. Across the country, bed capacity, especially for children, has become a concern.

"That's a big fear. You're a parent. Your baby needs help. You want to know that help is right there," Hochul said. "We are working day and night to make sure that that does not happen here in the state of New York."

READ MOREPediatric hospitalizations spiking on Long Island as RSV surge continues

Pediatrician Dr. Sallie Permar says parents should get their kids the flu and COVID shots, and while they wait for an RSV vaccine, her suggestion for now is to use common sense.

"Staying home when you're sick. Things like hand washing is very important. Wearing a mask when you're indoors, especially in crowded situations," Permar said.

"We've got to get our kids doing this again," state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett added, demonstrating coughing and sneezing into her elbow.

Watch Kevin Rincon's report

Gov. Hochul warns of tri-demic concerns as flu, COVID, RSV cases spike 02:08

Bassett says for adults, it's about knowing when to bow out.

"Stay home when you're sick. There's a reason that people have sick leave," Bassett said.

And that goes for everyone, including professional athletes. The New York Jets had four players who stayed home Wednesday because of the flu.

That outbreak spotted thanks to testing, and people want more of it. Demand for medical services has led places like NAO Medical to expand its urgent care facilities. Founder Dr. Priti Jain said while some people are hyper-aware of their health, others have been too lax.

"There's almost this sense of, 'You know what? We survived the pandemic. We're good to go,'" Jain said. "That is why we've seen such an upsurge in flu and RSV, because this is the first year after two years that we've literally not had masks on."

READ MOREU.S. flu season off to a fast start as other viruses spread

COVID numbers are up in certain spots in the Tri-State Area, but the flu has lead the way in terms of hospitalizations. Nationwide, we're seeing numbers we haven't seen in more than a decade.

Cohen Children's Medical Center on Long Island recently added 75 beds for children needing to be hospitalized for RSV.

At Mi Doctor Urgent Care on East 51st Street, Dr. Muneeb Khan says his practice has seen patients have two viruses at the same time.

"Because if you have one, you already have a very weak immune system," Khan told CBS2's Lisa Rozner.

Dr. Dyan Hes of Gramercy Pediatrics is also seeing more cases of Coxsackie, also known as hand-foot-and-mouth disease, which can cause rashes and fever.

"I just had a patient today who had a really bad case of Coxsackie, but she's fever-free for two days," Hes said.

Right now, the New Jersey-based company Becton Dickinson is working on an at-home test that will look for flu A, flu B and COVID.

Doctors say because there are shortages of Tamiflu, they're also prescribing at-home remedies.

The latest numbers from the New York City Health Department show a steep increase in cases of flu, RSV and rhinovirus, which is related to the common cold.

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