Experts at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital will be providing updates about the state of respiratory illnesses impacting our hospital systems.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Experts at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital will be providing updates about the state of respiratory illnesses that continue to impact our hospital systems here in West Michigan.
A so-called “tripledemic”—cases of COVID-19, RSV and the flu—continue to be a big concern for hospitals, especially during the winter months as people travel and gather for the holidays.
According to the CDC, after the Thanksgiving holiday, they’re seeing signs that this flu season will be quite severe. Cases of the coronavirus are rising and RSV cases remain high.
The CDC has recorded about 8.7 million illnesses, 78,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths from the flu since October across the country.
Here in Michigan, the CDC’s data shows a steady increase of RSV cases over the last five weeks. The virus has a profound impact on the most vulnerable, including the elderly and young children.
“That is what we’re seeing is those kids that would get just colds with RSV, under one year of age, they’re now actually having to come in and not only receive supplemental oxygen, but some of them to the point where they’re unable to oxygen, we would need to add them to the intensive care unit and intubating them,” said Dr. Hossain Marandi, President of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
COVID, the flu and RSV share similar symptoms and may be difficult to tell apart.
For the flu, symptoms can come on suddenly, but symptoms are more gradual for the other two. Fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing are all common symptoms in each of the three illnesses.
Loss of taste and smell is characteristic of COVID, while a headache is more common in RSV and flu patients.
Health experts are urging everyone to get their flu shot and updated bivalent COVID vaccine. They recommend staying home if you or your children are feeling sick.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.