Health

Michigan health experts share tips for a safe vacation

LANSING, Michigan (WILX) — Emergency room and pediatric departments across Michigan are seeing an increase in cases of the respiratory disease RSV as Thanksgiving weekend approaches.

Health experts said there are things you can do to protect the oldest and youngest members of your family.

After spending Thanksgiving in the hospital in 2021, one mom said it’s better safe than sorry. Things will look a little different for Alexa Mannor this year.

Mannor said her 2-month-old son Kingston started behaving differently just before the holidays.

“We didn’t know exactly what was wrong with him,” Mannor recalls. “We noticed that he was breathing strangely. He was very tired, he just looked very sick, so I took him to the emergency room.

It’s good she did. Kingston’s oxygen level dropped dangerously low. He was hospitalized with RSV.

Doctors said Mannor’s story is all too well known at this point. In early November, pediatric centers across Michigan warned they had bed shortages caused by RSV.

As people prepare to gather with family, experts said it’s important to exercise caution.

“You don’t want to be the person who comes and says, ‘Well, I didn’t really feel great,’ and you give Grandma and Grandpa the flu or COVID or RSV. You don’t want to be that person,” said Dr. John Brooks of McLaren Health. “Before you go to grandma’s house, do a health check on your family, make sure everyone is okay.”

People who are unwell should stay away from family, especially those under 6 and over 75.

“Single-use, disposable tools can be a good idea,” says Dr. Steven W. Martin of Sparrow Health. “But definitely regular cleaning of surfaces that are touched by different people.”

Taking these steps can save you and your loved ones a trip to the hospital.

“It’s so hard to say no to your family, but your child’s safety is of the utmost importance,” said Mannor.

Kingston made a full recovery.

“He’s a crazy little toddler and he’s the sweetest boy,” Mannor said. “He is great.”

But she said home for the holidays is better than the hospital.

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