What’s Going Around: Increase in contagious illnesses, slip-and-falls, carbon monoxide exposure

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: Strep throat, asthma flare-ups, COVID, stomach viruses, sinus infections, bronchitis

Dr. Jaime Hope -- Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at Beaumont Outpatient Campus – Livonia

“With all of the power outages, we are seeing a rise in carbon monoxide exposure due to people seeking alternative sources of heat. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless and the symptoms of exposure (fatigue, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness) can be similar to cold/flu/COVID symptoms and can be missed. It is very important to have a working carbon monoxide detector and only use heat sources that are approved for use in indoor enclosed spaces.”

“As you can imagine with all of the ice, we are seeing a lot of slip-and-fall injuries. Salting can help prevent these. If people slip and fall and have a head injury, particularly if they are on blood-thinning medication, they should be seen in one of our ERs for evaluation. We can also take care of cuts, sprains, and broken bones from fall injuries.”

“As the cold, gray months continue, we see an increase in symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression. Things that can help with this include use of full spectrum lights during the day, exercise, meditation and meaningful social connections to others. If anyone is having thoughts of hurting themselves or killing themselves, they should be seen in an emergency department right away.”

Karen Sherwood -- Nurse manager at Beaumont Hospital, Trenton, Emergency Center

“Right now I’m seeing a bunch of belly pains. I literally have ages in here from 90 to 5. There’s a lot of nausea and vomiting going around. It’s a variety of things. We’ve had pancreatitis, or sometimes it’s a stomach bug. Coming to the Emergency Center (for belly pain) all really depends. Older people, you have a lot more co-morbidities, so they’re a little more sensitive. Or is the flu going around to everyone in your family? But when they start to get that really dizzy feeling with high fevers and Tylenol isn’t helping, or they’re dehydrated, that’s when they should come in. Otherwise, we’re seeing the common chest pains. And strep throat. Every once in a while, we’ll see a COVID patient. I think that’s going to be our new normal.”

Oakland County: COVID, strep throat, norovirus, asthma flare-ups, stomach viruses, respiratory viruses

Dr. Rena Daiza -- Primary Care Physician at Henry Ford Medical Center Bloomfield Twp.

“A spike in upper respiratory infections this week including COVID-19. Mild to moderate symptoms. Still recommending those vaccines and boosters! Sick season is still very much in full effect until the end of April.”

Lauren Tierney -- Nurse manager at Emergency, Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills

“We are seeing a small uptick in the number of COVID patients being admitted to the hospital. Also in emergency we are seeing more pediatric cases, with varied diagnoses, including uncontrolled diabetes and mental health concerns. Mental health concerns are on the rise among all age groups. Check on your loved ones, take care of your loved ones. And — make time for yourself. Practicing good self-care should be a top priority. In this crazy, post-pandemic world, I can’t stress that enough.”

Washtenaw County: COVID, upper respiratory infections, bronchiolitis, stomach viruses, influenza

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

“We are seeing a little bump in bronchiolitis, which is often caused by RSV, but this little influx is non-RSV related. We continue to see quite a bit of infectious GI illnesses. We saw some carbon monoxide poisonings/exposures this past week. We have also been seeing a larger number of patients with mental health concerns, anywhere from suicide attempts, severe eating disorders that require admission to aggressive/violent behaviors in the context of underlying behavioral health problems.”

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

“We are still seeing COVID and non-COVID URIs with regularity. There were lots of slips and falls during the icing this week as well. Less GI illness than last week but still seeing some.”

Washtenaw County Health Department

Influenza cases in Washtenaw County are currently at low levels; however, influenza A continues to circulate locally. Additional flu waves are possible. Flu-related hospitalizations of Washtenaw residents are currently at low levels. Influenza-related deaths in Washtenaw County adults have been reported this flu season. All individuals were confirmed with influenza A. Most influenza cases being reported in Washtenaw County are influenza A (both A/H3 and A/H1N1).”

Monroe County: Gastrointestinal illnesses, respiratory viruses, colds, COVID

Macomb County: Stomach viruses, respiratory viruses, colds, COVID, sore throats, pink eye

Dr. Ali Saad -- Emergency physician at McLaren Macomb

“Wintery weather conditions have caused slip and falls, resulting in various injuries to extremities, particularly in seniors. Cases of gastroenteritis and symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have remained steady, but have tapered off significantly from its peak early in the year. Various forms of viral upper respiratory infections have tapered off significantly from their peaks, though they’re still mainly affecting younger children.”

Livingston County: Stomach viruses, respiratory viruses

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.