NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— With doctors warning that this flu season is more active than previous flu seasons, they want everyone to be more careful this holiday season. To make matters worse, Emergency rooms are seeing rises in COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses on top of the flu.

“We are seeing a lot of respiratory illnesses all at one time,” Dr. Jeffrey Elder, LCMC Health said.

A triple whammy—known as a “tripledemic,” the flu, COVID-19, and RSV are all filling up local hospitals with patients.

“For some they haven’t been exposed to these viruses in awhile, so they may have a ore significant course as they do get ill,” he said.

Dr. Jeffrey Elder at LCMC Health says because hospitals are overwhelmed with patients it is best to know when to go to the Emergency Room.

“For difficulty breathing, chest pain, stroke-like symptoms, then please come to the Emergency Department,” Dr. Elder said.

For Troy Williams, he was hospitalized with COVID-19 recently so he knows the serious implications, so this holiday season he’s being extra careful.

“I’m not going to have a big gathering. I’m going to stay protected,” Williams said.

His friend Joe Toney feels the same.

“I don’t want to go to a huge gathering. Kind of scared you know. I wear my mask, got my booster shot, and got my flu shot,” he said.

Dr. Elder says it is best to avoid huge gatherings, mask up when those more prone to getting sick, and make it a priority to get your flu and COVID-19 shots.

“So everybody can be safe and be comfortable and see others, see family this holiday season,” Dr. Elder said.

Dr. Elder said the current flu shots are extremely effective at tackling the two flu variants that are currently out there.

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