What’s Going Around: Asthma, COPD flare-ups, season allergies, pink eye, and strep throat

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

Across multiple MinuteClinic locations

Deborah “Micki” Bailey -- MinuteClinic practitioner:

“We are still seeing too many cases of strep throat/strep tonsillitis across the region. Families are passing it back and forth; meanwhile, COVID continues to show its presence.”

Wayne County

Doctors are seeing asthma, COPD flare-ups, seasonal allergies, pink eye, strep throat, influenza B, and mononucleosis.

Dr. Jayna Gardner-Gray -- Emergency Department, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit

“In the ED and ICU we are definitely seeing an uptick in respiratory issues related to asthma and COPD.  When we have these drastic temperature changes (greater than 10 degrees in a day!) it can create havoc in the lungs and throw patients into an exacerbation.  Some cases have been so severe that patients are requiring mechanical ventilator support.”

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

“We’re still seeing strep throat and influenza B.  Also, some pretty wicked injuries from falls off eBikes. I’d encourage people to pay close attention to their surroundings while they’re riding, and refrain from distractions such as ear buds and phones when traveling at higher speeds on two wheels.”

Dr. Asha Shajahan -- Medical director of Community Health, Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe

“Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, has been going around. Allergies are still fairly prominent. Other areas of concern include viral sore throats, coughs and colds --- but not COVID, flu or strep throat.”

Oakland County

Doctors are seeing asthma flare-ups, seasonal allergies, stomach viruses, COVID, strep throat, and strep tonsillitis.

Dr. Steve McGraw -- Chair of Emergency Medicine, Ascension Providence Hospital

“I’m still seeing COVID-19 infections, but the impact is severe only in cases where patients have an unvaccinated status or vulnerabilities, or both. Strep throat is still a regular problem. In the ED I’m reminding people to wear bike helmets when bike riding and make certain your kids do, too. Also, watch out for motorcyclists on the highway, but in the neighborhoods, as well. Lastly, I’m telling patients to check and or change smoke alarm batteries and enjoy the warmer weather.”

Dr. David Donaldson -- Emergency Center Chief, Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital, Troy

“With all the high pollen counts and weather change, we are seeing a lot of asthma exacerbation related to allergies. We are also seeing an increase in injuries with the nice weather and youth sports. Lastly, there have been a lot of gastroenteritis cases.”

Emergency Department, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

“We have had a few patients with chest pains and shortness of breath this week but back pain and abdominal pain have been the chief complaints so far this week.”

Washtenaw County

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

“We saw a lot of injuries like fractures and lacerations, a little less GI illness but still some, like rotavirus.”

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

“Lots of allergies, a bit of COVID and URIs.  Some GI illness.”

Monroe County

Doctors are seeing shortness of breath, seasonal allergies, asthma flare-ups, strep throat, and stomach viruses.

Macomb County

Doctors are seeing seasonal allergies, asthma flare-ups, upper respiratory infections, stomach viruses, sinus infections, and pink eye.

Dr. Julie Lata -- Emergency physician, McLaren Macomb

“With spring weather breaking and the increase in outdoor activities, various injuries are the most commonly reported reason patients are seeking care in the ER and trauma center.   Plants and trees blooming have led to a very significant increase in allergy exacerbation, especially complicating asthma sufferers. Though showing signs of tapering off, cases of non-COVID and non-influenza viral upper respiratory infections and gastroenteritis continue to be reported and treated.”

Livingston County

Did not report 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.