Flu, pneumonia, strep throat and more: Here's what's bugging metro Detroit

Flu sending fewer to doctor's office, but season 'not over yet'
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 06:48:03-05

(WXYZ) — COVID-19 is sweeping across metro Detroit once again, and most providers are seeing their share of patients.

But, we're also in the heart of cold and flu season, which peaks between December and February, according to the CDC.

To find out what other viruses, bacteria and infections are causing problems, we checked in with doctors across the area to find out what's bugging metro Detroit.

At Beaumont Grosse Pointe, they're seeing COVID-19 and a lot, according to Dr. Asha Shajahan, the medical director of community health.

"I would say the second thing would be upper respiratory symptoms of just a regular cold. So the runny, stuffy nose, sore throats and coughs, sneezing and congestion. These are people testing negative for both COVID and the flu," he said. "Third would be strep. Patients come in with very sore throats and possibly a fever and lymph nodes swelling around the neck."

He said if you see small little areas of white patches in the back of the throat, that's more indicative of strep throat.

At Premier Medicine Urgent Care in Livonia, they are doing a lot of COVID-19 testing. In addition, they're seeing a lot of non-COVID-related sore throats, sinus issues, coughs and body aches. They seem to be lasting longer than normal.

Dr. Jade Balasz, a family medicine physician at Ascension Rochester Providence, said they're also seeing many things going on. Those include hand, foot and mouth, which is common in infants and toddlers but can affect people of all ages.

"Another big one that we're seeing is influenza. It's just the start of the seeing season for influenza, so I haven't seen a ton of it yet, but it's kind of just starting," Balasz said.

In addition to respiratory viruses, patients are coming in with bacterial infections like strep throat, and sinus and ear infections. She says those are super common complaints.

"Then pneumonia is a really big one, too, that we see, especially you can get a pneumonia infection after a viral illness, like flu, cold, bronchitis, things like that," she said.

It can be really tough to tell if you have a cold, the flu, RSV or COVID-19.

Shajahan says if you are suffering from a sore throat, cough, runny nose, headache, nausea, vomiting, GI issues, even fatigue for prolonged one or two or three days, you should definitely get tested for COVID-19.

The city of Detroit is opening up its drive through COVID-19 clinic at Huntington Place - formerly TCF center.

Premier Medicine is doing testing 7 days a week from 10-3. I was in that area last week and saw people lining up in their cars around before 9am.