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What's bugging metro Detroit? 'Tis the season of Covid, flu, and RSV

Learn what healthcare professionals are saying amid a season of heightened viral illnesses
Posted at 6:57 AM, Jan 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-02 06:57:15-05

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — From the workplace to home sweet home, you can call it the sound of the season — coughing, sniffling, and sneezing.

And for good reason.

“A lot of Influenza A, RSV and COVID. There's been a trend up,” said Sara Hadid, PA-C, clinical director with Get Well Urgent Care.

Sara Hadid and John Poules are physician assistants and clinical directors of Get Well Urgent Care Centers in Madison Heights and Sterling Heights. Sara says influenza A can have you breaking out in a sweat.

“That's one of the classic findings and nausea, vomiting,” Hadid said.

They’re also seeing a lot of people coming in with strep throat.

“Sometimes... you'll see little white spot specks on your tonsils. You'll just have severe pain with swallowing,” said John Poules, PA-C.

Strep is caused by a bacterium your healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic to treat.

In Detroit at Children's Hospital of Michigan Dr. Tiffney Widner says it seems like “everybody has some type of viral illness.”

Including, colds, Covid, RSV and the flu.

And this season the flu has been hard to shake.

“I used to tell people, 'Oh, you'll be fine.' About a week, it'll be okay. But these days it's been about two weeks that people have been having a rough time,” Dr. Widner said.

Dr. Widner says the big concern with these viruses is dehydration — especially for the very young. She is urging parents to keep a close eye on the number of wet diapers their child is making.

And to come in for care if they have a fever that won’t break, not tolerating fluids or your child is showing signs of respiratory distress.

She’s also seeing breathing problems tied to winter allergies.

“My allergic and asthmatic patients are having difficulty as well. So just being mindful,” Dr. Widner said. “Making sure that we have our inhalers, that we have our allergy medication.”

At Express Med Urgent Care in Southfield, Wagner said “lots of upper respiratory sinusitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, what we think of as a sore throat.”

But bronchitis may have started out as another illness all together and settled in your chest and lungs.

“Maybe it started as a cold, but kind of fades into this deep chest cough that's lasting longer than a week, more like two weeks,” said Wagner.

They’re also seeing the viral trio of Covid, the flu and RSV.

The holidays are also a time of year that many of us struggle with depression.

And there are a lot of factors — loss of a loved one, loneliness, shorter days, and lack of sunshine.

Dr. Widner says this is a good time to check in on the people in your life to see how they’re doing. Be a lending ear and encourage them to get help if they're struggling.