RSV cases on the rise earlier than normal


(CBS DETROIT) – Respiratory Syncytial Virus, widely known as RSV, cases are on the rise in the state of Michigan. The respiratory virus can be caught by people of all ages but hits the hardest in infants and children aged 2 and younger.

Data from Corewell Health East, formerly Beaumont Health, states the following:

“Since September, Corewell Health East emergency centers, including all eight hospitals and three outpatient campuses in Lenox, Livonia and Canton, have seen a 777% increase in the number of patients testing positive for RSV.

Specifically, 95 of 1,587 patients screened at Corewell Health East emergency centers throughout the month of September tested positive for RSV, for a positivity rate of 6%. In comparison, 833 of 5,515 patients screened in October tested positive, for an RSV positivity rate of 15%.

The inpatient story is similar, with a 567% increase in the number of patients hospitalized with RSV from September to October. In September, 132 inpatients tested positive for RSV of 2,546 screened, for a positivity rate of 5%. In October, 881 patients system-wide tested positive for RSV out of 6,659 patients screened, for a positivity rate of 13%.”

Pediatric ER Medical Director Dr. Whitney Minnock says these numbers are a bit concerning for this time of year as we don’t normally see a spike like this until we reach late winter months. She says in adults, the virus is comparable to a common cold. For infants and young children it’s a more serious upper respiratory infection. Minnock says although it may be alarming, RSV is something they’re experienced in.

“I think it’s important that parents know that this virus isn’t new. It’s not something that we don’t have experience with. You know, I think that it’s tough because COVID really, you know, made people afraid because we didn’t know,” Minnock said while discussing RSV.

“RSV has been around for years and it’s something that, you know, during our training, we we’ve seen a lot of we call it kind of the respiratory season, which is in the winter months,” Minnock added.