What’s Going Around: Viral, upper respiratory illnesses continue to spread throughout Metro Detroit

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:

Dr. Jaqueline Metz -- Pediatrician, Henry Ford Medical Center Ford Road

“This week, we have been seeing many children presenting with influenza A. Some have been quite ill with high fevers, but others have been afebrile with mild symptoms. We are expecting to see more cases in the coming weeks. We are still seeing patients testing positive for RSV, but not as many as a few weeks ago. I hope that everyone is able to gather with family and friends this holiday season. We should continue to be mindful that bringing an illness to a gathering could be very dangerous to those who are vulnerable.”

Dr. Jaqueline Pflaum-Carlson -- Emergency Department, Henry Ford Hospital Detroit

“So. Much. Flu. Alcohol related falls/injuries. Consider testing for COVID and wearing a mask if you have any signs/symptoms of illness before gathering with family and friends in big groups indoors.”

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

“In the ER we are seeing an increase in Influenza A and COVID. RSV is still present but has declined. Other viral respiratory infections and gastrointestinal illnesses are prevalent as well. Holiday and end-of-year stresses typically increases the severity of psychiatric symptoms in patients; we are seeing this as well with anxiety, depression, and other symptoms.”

Simon Kirma, RN -- Charge nurse, Corewell Health Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital

“RSV and influenza is still big here. We’re seeing a lot of GI disturbances, shortness of breath, coughing, and other flu symptoms. We’re discharging most of them. We tell them (to) use good hand hygiene, stay away from people for a couple of days and treat the fevers they’re having with Tylenol and Motrin.”

Dr. Joseph Schramski -- Emergency center physician, Corewell Health Dearborn Hospital and Beaumont Outpatient Campus - Canton

“We are seeing a big-time influx of respiratory illnesses, mainly Influenza A. RSV has mostly faded. We see COVID now and then, but flu is the dominant virus right now. Symptoms are fever, chills and extreme body aches. People are so achy they’re just curling up into a ball. With RSV, the primary symptom is breathing issues. With the flu, we’re seeing fevers between 103 and 105. We mainly recommend Tylenol and Motrin. Other medications don’t do very much to help.”

Oakland County:

Dr. Jennifer Burgess -- Primary Care Physician, Henry Ford Medical Center Commerce Twp.

“Influenza A!!!! Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay home if you’re sick!! It’s URI season with a vengeance!”

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

“This week I had a few patients with a ‘stomach bug.’ Patients had nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some experienced weight loss and dehydration. For the holidays (especially with potlucks) try and avoid food that has been sitting out for a long period of time. Fruit can be a big culprit.”

Katie Killingbeck -- Assistant nurse manager, Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital

“We’re still seeing a lot of colds, flu, pediatric RSV and general flu-like symptoms. Our patient numbers are up; we’re very busy. Please just bear with us when the wait times are up. That would be the most helpful, understanding that we’re trying. We want to get the people who are having life-threatening emergencies treated first. And we understand everyone’s emergency is important to them. But we’re doing everything we can to provide the best care we can.”

Monroe County:

Dr. Spencer Johnson -- Director of emergency medicine at ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital

“Currently, we are inundated with Flu/RSV. Not so much COVID-19. Unfortunately, the treatment is essentially supportive in most cases, except those requiring hospitalization. If members of the community are having flu-like symptoms they should attempt to manage their symptoms at home unless they are severe. Those with mild illness should drink plenty of fluids and use Tylenol/Motrin appropriately for fever and any aches and pains. The flu will run its course and most will recover without issue. Those that are having respiratory difficulties, fever they cannot control at home, intractable nausea /vomiting/ diarrhea should seek medical attention.”

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.