SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — If you are planning to gather with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday, Dr. Whitney Minnock recommends only attending if you don't feel ill.
RSV can linger for up to a month, but the highest viral load continues up until 24 hours after the fever has broken, according to Dr. Minnock, Pediatric Chief of Emergency for Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital, formerly Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.
As RSV continues to surge in other parts of Michigan and at other health systems, doctors at Corewell-Beaumont are reporting a decline in the number of children they're treating because of RSV.
The cases numbers in the health system have gone from 577 in recent weeks, down to 302.
“This is good news for our community and our health care teams,” said Whitney Minnock, M.D., pediatric chief of Emergency, Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital, formerly Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. “The reason for the decline is unknown but could be the result of the disease’s natural progression. We can’t be sure if this is permanent or temporary. With influenza cases on the rise in other states and locally, we all must remain vigilant. But on the RSV front, things are moving in the right direction.”
Doctors strongly urge people to wash their hands as proper hand hygiene is key to stopping the spread of the disease. Also, don't kiss or touch the face of infants or small children.
In Canton, mother of three Kellie Farris has been watching her 10-month-old baby struggle to breathe for about a week now. She rushed baby Amiri to Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, where administrators recently announced they were at capacity.
"The last thing I want to happen is him not to be able to breathe," said Farris. Her ten-year-old son, Ayden, and six-year-old daughter, Audriana, are also sick with RSV.
"They have them all on albuterol and doing the breathing treatments around the clock every four hours. That's why I'm not sleeping," Farris smiled. "It's like one after another."
Farris and her children planning to remain at home this Thanksgiving.
"There's no point to take them anywhere because I don't want to get anybody's kids sick," Farris said. "Just because they can handle it like this, doesn't mean next child can."
If you're not feeling well, doctors urge you stay at home.
Dr. Minnock urging families to find a balance between exercising precautions and enjoying the holidays with loved ones.
“If we head into the holidays and everybody is scared, that is not good for mental health,” said Dr. Minnock, who also has four children ages 5 and under. “I plan on being with my family this Thanksgiving. But some important precautions will be part of our celebration. Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at increased risk for complications from RSV and flu.”
For Thanksgiving, Dr. Minnock's recommendations include the following:
· If you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms including fever, runny nose and cough, refrain from attending in-person gatherings. RSV can linger for up to a month, but the highest viral load continues up until 24 hours after the fever has broken. For best results, limit one-on-one contact with others during this time.
· Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Proper hand hygiene is essential to stopping the spread of disease.
· Don’t kiss or touch the face of infants or small children.
· If you haven’t already done so, get your flu shot.