The nation’s second go around with a seasonal ‘tripledemic’ — the confluence of rising rates of flu, COVID-19 and RSV — may have already peaked, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency released a report late on Friday that found while hospital admissions for the three respiratory ailments have remained elevated across many parts of the country, the peak likely occurred around the end of the holiday season.

As of late last week, the national COVID-19 test positivity rate held steady at 12.7%, flu rates were at 14% and the national RSV rate was just under 10%. The first weekly decline of the states reporting high or very high activity for respiratory illnesses occurred during the week ending January 6.

There was also a decrease in emergency department visits for viral respiratory illnesses in recent weeks. 

“After several weeks of increases in influenza indicators, a single week of decrease in most indicators have been noted,” the agency stated. “CDC will continue to monitor for a second period of increased influenza activity that often occurs after the winter holidays.”

This comes amid an uptick in COVID cases due to the emergence of a variant known as JN.1, a descendant of omicron.

The CDC also previously issued a Health Alert Network health advisory warning that low vaccination rates and rising levels of respiratory illnesses could lead to more disease, increase severity of illness and a strain on the nation’s healthcare capacity.

Several factors are at play when evaluating the prevalence and severity of respiratory illnesses during cold and flu season, especially since the start of the COVID pandemic in early 2020.

The CDC noted that during the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 winter seasons, flu and RSV rates were significantly lower than usual due to a combination of more social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing that arose out of the public health emergency.

However, as those practices fell out of vogue with the decline of COVID as an acute healthcare threat and the emergence of the ‘new normal’ way of living, rates of three illnesses have risen simultaneously high and early in the season since the 2022-2023 season.

Another contributing factor is the emergence of vaccines for COVID and RSV in addition to the annual uptake of seasonal flu shots.

Currently, Americans have their choice of three COVID vaccines recommended by the CDC — including those manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax. 

There are also three RSV vaccines approved, including GSK’s Arexvy for people over the age of 60, Pfizer’s Abrysvo for people over the age of 60 as well as for use in pregnant individuals, and Beyfortus from AstraZeneca and Sanofi to prevent disease in newborns and infants up to 2 years old.