What’s Going Around: Severe to mild sunburns, viral illnesses, sore throats and sinus infections

This week most Metro Detroit hospitals and doctors' offices are reporting an increase in patients suffering from breathing problems due to the smoke and poor air quality. It comes at a time when asthma and COPD flare-ups were already an issue.

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

Wayne County -- Asthma, COPD,  allergies, viral illnesses, sore throats, mononucleosis, poison ivy, sinus infections

Dr. Tiffney Widner -- Children’s Hospital of Michigan pediatrician

“We’re seeing a lot of viral and still the allergy asthma issues are still happening, because they’re coming of the air quality issues. For the viral, we’re treating the symptoms. For the asthma and allergy issues, it depends on how impacted they are. Do we need to do a controller for the asthma or allergies? It all depends. We see more injuries during this time because they’re outside. We do get the, ‘Oh my back, oh my ankle, oh my knee.’ These kids spend more time on the screen. So now when they’re more active, they’re coming in complaining of pain. They spend too much time looking at screens.  The remedy is more activity and consistency of activity. And regular stretching, especially kids that are not as mobile, they need to stretch before and after activity. We’re already seeing it the effects of the sedentary lifestyle – you don’t even have to talk long-term. Obesity and overweight numbers in kids have risen. And if the parents are not making the effort to get them to move and get outside, they are on their screens. But now it seems that playing outside is a punishment. Parents say, ‘I put their screens away and make them play outside.’ “Make” them play outside? My thing was I was outside and didn’t want to come back in. Doing things as a family is also helpful. "

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

“We have seen a number of sore throat cases testing positive for mononucleosis, or mono. In fact, we have had more positive mono tests than positive strep tests. There have been a very rare amount of influenza and COVID positive tests.”

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

“Summer respiratory infections are showing up with very painful sore throats and sometimes deep and lingering coughs. Supportive care is sufficient for most, but an in-person evaluation should be sought for any difficulty breathing, or worsening of symptoms after the first week of symptoms. Preventative measures against sunburns and insect bites is important - hats, UV protective clothing, sunscreen, effective insect repellant, avoidance during peak hours.  Use cool compresses and sometimes topical creams to reduce itching of insect bites; scratching the bites can make symptoms more intense and can also lead to secondary bacterial infections.”

Dr. Christopher Loewe -- Emergency Medicine, Ascension St. John Hospital

“I’m seeing patients with asthma, COPD, and allergies, due to poor air quality.”

Oakland County -- Asthma, COPD, hand foot & mouth disease, sunburns, poison ivy, swimmer’s ear, bug bites

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

“I’ve seen quite a few patients with asthma and COPD exacerbation due to the weather. I’m also seeing viral infections with enteroviruses and Coxsackie A&B (Hand Foot & Mouth Disease). I’m still seeing some fireworks injuries. We need to remember kids should never be allowed to use them unsupervised. A few more reminders, please look out for bicyclists and motorcyclists. And make sure kids are also supervised around swimming pools and lakes. Drowning is the number one cause of accidental deaths in children. Enrolling kids in swim classes with an emphasis on water safety will help.”

Dr. Julie MacPherson -- Pediatrician, Corewell Health, Troy

“We are still seeing a lot of strep infections, some that have required more than one course of antibiotics to treat. We have also been seeing lots of seasonal allergies and some viral infections.”

Caroline Morris, PA-C -- Henry Ford-GoHealth Urgent Care Centers

“Currently across our clinics we are seeing a lot of seasonal allergy symptoms such as cough, sinus congestion and sore throat. In addition, there is an increase in the number of sunburns of varying severity, poison ivy rashes, swimmers’ ear and bug bites. Some bites are infected, some aren’t.”

Washtenaw County -- Croup, respiratory viruses, stomach viruses, outdoor injuries, campfire burns

Monroe County -- Breathing problems, asthma, COPD, poison ivy, outdoor injuries, stomach viruses

Macomb County -- Upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, breathing issues, sunburns, strep throat, swimmer’s ear

Dr. James Larkin -- Emergency physician at McLaren Macomb

“Minor orthopedic and soft tissue injuries continue to be the most common reason patients seek care in the emergency and trauma center. With the recent rain and humidity, the bloom of allergens has caused many allergy sufferers to experience breathing issues. There have been a couple of recent positive tests of COVID-19 in patients experiencing minor flu-like symptoms.”

Dr. Anthony Khashola -- Primary Care Physician, Henry Ford Medical Center Shelby Twp.

“I’m noticing a lot of mild sunburns as people are outside more during the summer. Reminder to apply at least SPF 30 sunscreen before going outside and to reapply periodically. Also, I am hearing about a lot of ear fullness symptoms which could be anything from seasonal allergies to ear wax buildup to ear infection.

Dr. Maria Samuel -- Primary Care Physician, Henry Ford Medical Center Sterling Heights

“I’ve been seeing a lot of upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, and contact dermatitis.”

Livingston County -- Outdoor injuries, asthma flare-ups, sunburn, bug bites

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.