ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Health has reported high numbers of influenza, RSV, and COVID cases across the state. Now some are calling this a tripledemic.

So far, there have been 217,094 cases of the flu alone this season. Because of the volume, this season has also led to a shortage of pediatric antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin, and even Tamiflu.

Dr. James Saperstone said that there is no need to worry about the symptoms. He said that the main concern is the volume of pediatric patients being seen. “In 42 years, I’ve never seen that many sick kids are calling us or wanting to call in for an appointment,” he said.

Dr. Alec Kelty is a pharmacist at Price Chopper/Market 32 in Slingerlands. He said that the shortage has been a challenge for many pharmacies. “It is just very difficult to get in those medications,” he said. “When the doctor sends it over, we have to call them to get it switched to another medication or some alternative. And then other times, even those are on backorder.”

It’s also hard to find over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen for children. “It’s very sparse. And when we do get it, it sells out almost immediately. We get countless people every day asking whether we have it in stock.” Kelty said. “Unfortunately, we keep selling out so quickly that we can’t get it for everyone.”

Saperstone believes that there are so many cases because of relaxed COVID guidelines. “The viruses had nowhere to go for two to three years. The viruses need people to multiply to be fruitful,” he said. “We were evading them for the past couple of years with masks and distancing, and not having school. The food is here for the viruses, so they’re going nuts.”

Now holiday travelers will be coming home within the next week, so medical professionals expect the number of patients in emergency rooms and urgent cares to only increase for the rest of the season. But doctor Saperstone has advice for parents who are concerned.

“Most of the over-the-counter medicines aren’t necessary. All of the cold medicines to help mitigate congestion and coughing really don’t do a lot. It’s going to be Vicks on the chest. It’s going to be ibuprofen or Motrin,” he said. “And for kids over 1, honey! Honey is anti-inflammatory.” He also says that most kids don’t need to be seen, but if the symptoms persist or worsen after a couple of days, the parent or guardians should contact a pediatrician.