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Cold and Flu Infections Are ‘Back with a Vengeance This Year’ in Michigan

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As the weather cools down this year, Michigan has seen a troubling rise in respiratory illness.

As life begins to return to normal, and people think less about COVID, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian says people should keep the typical viruses that circulate this time of year in mind.

“They’re back with a vengeance this year,” she says.

Although a recent rise in RSV cases has died down, Munson Medical Center in Traverse City says they are also beginning to see an increase in flu hospitalizations.

“We maybe have had one, two, three patients hospitalized with influenza in the past week. Today it’s up and I think it’s five in our system. We expect that to start to rise over the next few weeks,” Munson Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Walter Noble discloses.

Munson says they believe RSV cases have peaked in the region, with COVID cases also steady. However, they say, like the rest of the state, they’re beginning to see an increase in those hospitalized with the flu.

The state is seeing the highest inpatient volumes of influenza since they started recording those numbers back in October 2020. Dr. Bagdasarian says it’s due to the “mild influenza cases” we’ve had over the past couple years. Plus, she says the rise is due to people becoming more relaxed on masks and vaccines as the pandemic has died down.

“The latest data that I have is 205 inpatient beds occupied by flu patients, and the line is rising at a very rapid clip,” Dr. Bagdasarian admits. ” So, that tells us that we’re just at the beginning of our influenza surge. If Michigan is anything like other states in the country, we are in for a severe flu season.”

To help slow the spread they’re asking people to stay home when you’re sick, get your COVID vaccines, and talk with your doctor to see if you qualify for COVID and flu medications.