Influenza is 'What's Going Around'

Hospitals say local levels high and steady

DETROIT – Each week, Local 4 contacts numerous hospitals and doctors' offices in Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw, Monroe, Macomb and Livingston Counties to see what illnesses are making people sick.   Here is a look at What's Going Around:

Wayne County

Every hospital we talked to is seeing a number of patients suffering from influenza.

Children's Hospital of Michigan reports that flu, RSV and bronchiolitis are the top three illnesses this week.   Bronchiolitis is an inflammation of the tiny airways - called the bronchioles - that lead to the lungs.  It's usually caused by a viral infection.

Dr. Shaun Jayakar, a family medicine physician at St. John Hospital, says flu, colds and norovirus are hitting there.

St. Mary Mercy Livonia is "very busy" with upper respiratory complaints, cases of RSV and influenza B.   They're also seeing an increase in fall injuries as the weather improves and more people are spending time outdoors.

Oakland County

Beaumont Dr. Nancy Crossley in Oxford is seeing "flu, flu, flu," this week, plus some sinus infections and strep throat.

The CVS MinuteClinics in Milford and Walled Lake report that influenza A is still "very strong", but they're also seeing increasing numbers of patients testing positive for influenza B.   Their nurse practitioners also vaccinated several people who were exposed to pertussis, also known as whooping cough, this week. 

Dr. Tim O'Neil,l at Clarkston Medica Group, reports steady cases of flu, but also a stomach virus he says is "brutal, but thankfully short."  With the spring-like weather, he has also seen some patients suffering from asthma flare-ups.

In Rochester Hills, Dr. Richard Weiermiller is seeing lots of coughing and a "little bit of everything coming across our doorstep," including influenza, strep throat and stomach viruses.

Dr. Samuel Fawaz, in Beverly Hills, and Southfield treated some allergies this week.  He says it's possible this may be a bad allergy season because of the early burst of spring weather.

Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Health Department says "Influenza is at peak levels in Washtenaw County. 

Last week, reports of lab-confirmed influenza in local residents continued to climb.  Influenza A/H3 is the dominant sub-type, with some Influenza B circulating as well.  

Flu-associated hospitalizations are at high levels, with most hospitalizations occurring among individuals 65 years and older.  Several children and younger adults have also been hospitalized in the last few weeks."

Pediatricians at the University of Michigan agree saying, "We have entered into our peak influenza/influenza-like illness season."   Fever-causing respiratory illnesses are up significantly in their young patients, and they're also seeing "a fair amount" of stomach viruses.  Their advice -- "Practice good hand hygiene and cover your cough!”

Monroe County

ProMedica Monroe Regional’s emergency center has been seeing a lot of difficulty in breathing due to the weather, such as asthma attacks and COPD related issues.  They have also been seeing a lot of flu.

Dr. Anthony Songco’s office reports a lot of upper respiratory infections this week.

Macomb County

Dr. Patrick Flaherty, an emergency medicine physician with McLaren Macomb, reports,  "Continuing last week’s growth, cases of confirmed flu have continued to send patients to the emergency department."  After a few down weeks, he's also treating a significant number of stomach viruses causing symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and some pneumonia related to upper respiratory infections.

With the unseasonably warm temperatures drawing everyone outside, Flaherty says they're also seeing many asthma and allergy patients in the emergency department.

The CVS Minute Clinic in Macomb is seeing cases of both influenza A and B, plus pink eye, sinus infections, strep throat and sore throats.

Livingston County

St. Joseph Mercy Livingston is continuing to see Influenza A and B.  Doctors are also treating strep throat and a gastrointestinal illness.