▶ Watch Video: Respiratory “tripledemic” worries nation’s doctors

At Mass General Hospital for Children, the pediatric ICU is at full capacity. Most patients there are on oxygen or ventilators.

“This past year has been unlike any other years in the past, with RSV season starting way, much earlier,” said Dr. Laura Pugsley, nursing director of inpatient pediatrics at the hospital in Boston. 

This year has gained a troublesome distinction nationwide as a trifecta of illnesses converge to plague the health care system and its patients: Nationwide, cases of RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, are surging along with the flu and COVID-19 infections.

Megan’s 10-week-old son, Jack, has been hospitalized with RSV for nearly a week after he began having issues breathing.

“His belly was kind of sinking into his lower ribs,” Megan said. “So that was the first really big scary moment. It’s really scary as a parent to see that happening to your baby.”

While RSV may be peaking, it is also the worst flu season in more than a decade — as COVID-19 cases are again on the rise.

“The ER is inundated with cases, and people are being hospitalized,” said Dr. Douglas Chiriboga, a California family medicine doctor.

In Los Angeles County, for example, COVID-19 cases have soared 75% in the last week alone. Chiriboga said the implications of that are clear.

“I think, eventually, we are going to have that mask mandate,” he said.

Doctors say all three of the now-prevalent viral infections sweeping the country could be slowed by mask-wearing. And they said now is the time to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 booster.

So far, fewer than 13% of Americans have received their updated COVID-19 boosters. That’s a bad diagnosis, according to Chiriboga.

“It tells me that people are not getting the message.”