What’s Going Around: Weather, COVID, minor ailments causing significant problems

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:

Across Multiple CVS MinuteClinic Locations

Sara Kayser -- MinuteClinic nurse practitioner

“Strep cases continue to be high and seasonal allergy symptoms are on the rise. We’ve also came across a couple cases of tick removal, so check yourself and your pets when spending time outdoors.”

Wayne County: Seasonal allergies, asthma & COPD flare-ups, influenza B, strep throat, Covid, stomach viruses

Dr. Kevin Dazy -- Childrens Hospital of Michigan pediatrician

“We are still seeing a lot of adenovirus, which we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks. Most of the time it’s mild, cold-like symptoms, and sometimes it gets really nasty. We’re seeing it come up on the respiratory viral panels we’re running. Some kids will develop gastro symptoms: vomiting and diarrhea; sometimes super high fevers, some high inflammatory markers. Otherwise, I’ve seen one Flu B and one RSV kid, and really sporadic COVID recently. And we’re still seeing strep infections.”

Dr. Roy C. Elrod -- Chief of the Emergency Center at DMC’s Detroit Receiving Hospital

“At Detroit Medical Center’s Detroit Receiving Hospital, we’re seeing a lot of sneezing and allergy-related issues. The season is starting, and it’s probably a little more prevalent in the kids than the adults. We are glad to say we didn’t see as much flu this season as we thought we would initially. It wasn’t as intense as we anticipated. It could have been due to people still wearing masks, because some people still do that. That’s a byproduct of COVID: masking and social distancing. We’re also not seeing as much gastrointestinal virus, after a jump earlier this spring. Now we’re ok.”

Dr. Jennifer Stevenson -- Emergency Department, Henry Ford Medical Center Fairlane

“We’re seeing Influenza B. We had gotten a reprieve from the flu for a couple months but now it’s back. We’re still seeing a ton of strep pharyngitis and COVID is at its baseline prevalence. I don’t think it’s ever going away. Also, many are suffering with allergy symptoms as the plants come into bloom and asthma flares are common. Interestingly, we’ve seen a ton of vertigo. I think it’s a result of the allergens, maybe the pressure changes with these weather patterns.”

Dr. Jason Vieder -- Emergency Department, Henry Ford Medical Center, Plymouth

“I’ve seen some more allergy related illness. This frequently includes an increase in asthma/COPD symptoms.”

Dr. Jennifer Stephens-Hoyer -- Emergency Department, Henry Ford Medical Center, Plymouth

“Spring colds and allergies are flaring, triggering asthma and COPD exacerbations. Patients should be proactive in taking any prescribed daily inhaler or allergy medications to help mitigate flares. Also, in the last week, patients with gastrointestinal illnesses have presented with symptoms, and subsequent dehydration. Practicing good hand, hygiene, and avoiding sharing utensils and containers is the best way to prevent spread. Oral rehydration is effective for most with frequent small sips of water and drinks like Pedialyte.”

Dr. Glen Clark -- Emergency Center Chief, Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe

“Unfortunately we are still seeing some COVID patients of all ages, but the numbers and severity of illness, fortunately are no where near what they once were. We also continue to see stomach flu, patient present with significant abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. No other significant patterns per se, but our volume has returned to extremely heavy, pre-pandemic levels.”

Oakland County

Dr. Whitney Minnock -- Chief of Pediatrics, Emergency Center, Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak

“Lately, we have seen a lot of mental health concerns, as well as sports and playground injuries. We have also seen a number of GI viruses, adenovirus and strep throat as well as individuals struggling with asthma and allergies this season. There have been some COVID, but not a lot. For the most part, they have been really mild cases.”

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

“This week it has been a lot of the “common cold” turning into acute bronchitis. People should know that 90% of acute bronchitis is caused by a virus. The cough can linger for weeks and is usually the last symptom to resolve. You likely do not need an antibiotic for bronchitis!”

Emergency Department at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

“We have had a lot of pain going around of all kinds. Leg, flank, abdominal and generalized pain. We have also had some stroke symptoms and motor vehicle accidents.”

Washtenaw County: Stomach viruses, respiratory viruses, seasonal allergies, asthma and COPD flare-ups, COVID, influenza B

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

“We are still seeing a good amount of GI illnesses, plus the ever present viral respiratory illnesses. Asthma flares continue. Maybe a hint of increasing injuries as things start to move outside even though the weather doesn’t seem especially cooperative.”

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

“Definitely a noticeable uptick in allergies and asthma/COPD exacerbation. Little less COVID and URIs generally. Still some GI illness, though.”

Washtenaw County Health Department

“Influenza cases in Washtenaw County are currently at low levels; however, Influenza A and B 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. Reports of Influenza B have increased in the past few weeks. Influenza B reports received per week are now approximately equal to Influenza A reports.”

Monroe County: Stomach viruses, strep throat, asthma & COPD flare-ups, seasonal allergies

Macomb County: Strep throat, pink eye, bronchitis, seasonal allergies, asthma flare-ups

Dr. Anthony Joslin -- Emergency physician, McLaren Macomb

“Complications from allergies, specifically asthma exacerbation, have noticeably dropped this week with the decline in the weather, though ER doctors anticipate a quick return once the weather improves. Even with the arrival of colder temps, there are signs of seasonal viral upper respiratory infections tapering off. Like other seasonal conditions, cases of gastroenteritis have tapered off after significant volumes over the previous several weeks.”

Livingston County: Did not report sufficient results this week

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.