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As sickness rates rise, the “tripledemic” looms over schools.

Student absences in Montgomery County, Maryland, have been on the rise. An early surge of flu and respiratory illnesses converged with the spread of covid-19. Schools and day cares from coast to coast are battling outbreaks of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, covid and other infections. By mid-November, rates of hospitalization for RSV had nearly quintupled compared with the previous year. Some schools and day cares were forced to close because too many adults caring for sick kids were ill, too. The situation was exacerbated by shortages of teachers and substitutes.