Michigan RSV cases rising in older adults

About 10 times higher than it was prior to COVID
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 6:28 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - RSV cases are on the rise among adults and the elderly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Tressa Gardner, with McLaren, said, “If the kids are sick, don’t take them to grandma and grandpa’s house - it’s not to be taken lightly in the elderly population”

Gardner specializes in emergency medicine at McLaren. She said McLaren has seen an “uptick” in RSV cases among patients 65 and older.

“At least 10 to 20% of my population are RSV positive,” said Dr. Gardner.

Nationally, cases of the respiratory virus are up 10% for the elderly. That’s about 10 times higher than it was prior to COVID.

“Probably 50% of my patients I admitted to the hospital,” Gardner said. “So, there’s some increase in admissions.”

However, Gardner doesn’t expect McLaren will have to turn people away from being treated.

“Even with the staffing shortages,” she said, “we’re still not like we were during COVID. So we do have capacity, and we are taking care of each patient as they present.”

While there is an increase in cases, Gardner hasn’t heard of any outbreaks in senior living spaces.

“We know when each daycare has (an) outbreak, because all the kids come in. I have not seen that at this time with the elderly.” she said.

Mid-Michigan’s senior living centers seem to be doing really well with RSV prevention. They credit preventing RSV cases to the continuation of Covid-19 safety protocols.

Gardner said while the triple-demic of COVID, the flu, and RSV is concerning, they are confident in preventing the spread.

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