What’s Going Around: Flu, COVID, RSV, upper respiratory illnesses spreading in 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. Jennifer Stephens-Hoyer -- Emergency Department, Henry Ford Medical Center Plymouth

“Influenza A has continued to bring the community to the ED. The elderly and unvaccinated patients have been more severely affected. COVID infections are also being seen, though most are mild. Exacerbations of COPD have increased, likely related to weather changes and respiratory infections. Emergency room and hospital volumes overall have increased after the holiday period, which is typical.”

Dr. Joseph Schramski, Emergency Center Physician -- Corewell Health Dearborn Hospital

“The flu is waning, but we are seeing another uptick in COVID-19 and RSV cases following the holidays. Today was my first shift back, and it is really busy. We’re seeing more COVID than we were before the holidays. This is the longest and worst RSV season I can remember.”

Dr. Nouh Mazloum, Emergency Center Physician -- Corewell Health Wayne Hospital

“The good thing is our numbers for COVID, flu and RSV are trending down; it’s not as bad as the last few weeks. So we’re back to our typical emergencies: heart attacks, chronic heart failure, strokes. And, especially with the viruses going around, we’re seeing more shortness of breath, COPD and asthma patients. We’re also seeing a lot of overdoses. Since the pandemic, it’s not getting better - it’s getting worse. Last week, we had a day where we had five overdoses come in. Almost every shift, I’m seeing one or two overdoses. Mostly what we’re seeing is fentanyl. Most people, they’ll get Narcan, they’ll do better and they go home. We try to connect them with a social worker and give them resources, if they agree, before they leave.”

Oakland County:

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

“We are seeing tons of Influenza A. The body aches are severe this year, but flu patients are also experiencing fever and cough. Fortunately, the vast majority are able to go home. It’s not too late to get your flu shot. I highly recommend. We are also seeing COVID and RSV, but so far, both are still on the wane.”

Monroe County:

Dr. Spencer Johnson, Director of Emergency Medicine -- ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital

“While influenza, RSV and other respiratory infections remain high, the number of respiratory cases we are seeing in our emergency department seems to be stabilizing. These infections are particularly impacting very young and elderly patients. Mild cases can often be managed at home. Additionally, these infections are also exacerbating chronic medical conditions, leading to increased emergency department visits. It is extremely important to be fully vaccinated to help protect yourself and others. Remember, high fevers that are difficult to control, persistent nausea and vomiting, respiratory difficulty, or any significant concerns warrant immediate 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.