What’s Going Around: Breathing problems caused by sudden changes in temps, viral illnesses

Here’s our weekly round-up of what illnesses are spreading the most in Metro Detroit communities, according to our local doctors and hospitals.

Local doctors share their notes on What’s Going Around:

Wayne County: Stomach viruses, asthma flare-ups, upper respiratory infections, pink eye, sore throats, bronchitis

Dr. Kevin Dazy -- Pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Michigan

Levels of COVID, RSV, and flu are on the decline. Seeing some asthma exacerbations and some cases of gastroenteritis.”

Dr. Kristopher Richardson -- Emergency physician at Corewell Health Taylor Hospital

“We are seeing an increasing number of upper respiratory infections that are not COVID/flu/RSV related. Also, a lot of elderly people falling. Thicker and bulkier winter clothing combined with ice and snow places them at higher risk. We also see a lot of elderly patients who have tripped and fallen on area rugs and carpets used in entryways. Be cautious of trip hazards and keep in mind that winter clothing affects our ability to move, which in turn affects our ability to balance.”

Oakland County: Strep throat, asthma flare-ups, COVID, influenza, colds, sinus infections

Dr. Justin Skrzynski -- Internal Medicine at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital, Royal Oak

“Our COVID numbers are down a lot in the hospital. Just walking around the units, there’s not much as far as COVID isolation. As far as RSV and flu, it doesn’t seem too bad. We seem to be over the peak. I was looking at some Michigan data, and we seem to be over the peak there, too. Previously, we’ve had some surges in the spring, but hopefully not this year. Otherwise, it’s been steady with what we regularly see, especially heart failure and COPD. Cardiac problems are just a huge issue, as the single leading cause of death. We see so many people who are in and out of the hospital with heart failure. Once people hit the inpatient setting, things have gotten critical. People need to follow up with their doctor for things like high blood pressure or obesity, or with their cardiologist if they have cardiac issues. If you look at sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diet, those risk factors are out of our hands but largely contributory to what we see in the hospital.”

Dr. David Donaldson -- Chief of Emergency Center at Corewell Health Beaumont Troy Hospital

“In pediatrics, we continue to see a lot of patients with strep. Also, likely related to current changing weather conditions, exacerbations of asthma. Be cautious, wash your hands. Increased demand in mental health treatment typically follows tragic events like the one that unfolded Monday night at Michigan State University. The uptick has already begun. We expect those numbers to continue to increase in the coming days and weeks.”

Washtenaw County: Stomach viruses, COVID, influenza, upper respiratory infections

Dr. Brad Uren -- Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Michigan Medicine

“There’s a little bit of COVID. A little bit of upper respiratory/ flu. Not a lot of GI illnesses right now.”

Dr. Marisa Louie -- Medical Director of Children’s Emergency Services at Michigan Medicine

“Things are pretty stable for us, definitely seeing an increase in viral gastroenteritis.”

Washtenaw County Health Department

“Influenza cases appear to be decreasing in Washtenaw County, however, influenza A continues to circulate locally. Additional flu waves are possible. In the past few weeks, several influenza-related deaths in Washtenaw County adults have been reported. The individuals were confirmed with influenza A. Flu-related hospitalizations of Washtenaw residents are still elevated, but are decreasing. Most influenza cases being reported in Washtenaw County are influenza A.”

Macomb County: COVID, colds, strep throat, viral croup, ear infections

Dr. Richard Reidy -- Emergency physician at McLaren Macomb

“Incidents of traumatic injuries, mainly to the lower extremities, specifically the hips and mostly in seniors, resulting from slip-and-falls have significantly increased. Following spikes over the past several months, seasonal viral infections, specifically the flu, gastroenteritis, RSV and general upper respiratory infections, have tapered off. Though some cases are still reported, COVID-19 has continued its downward trend.”

Monroe County: Strep throat, breathing problems, COVID

Livingston County: Stomach viruses, strep throat

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.