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Michigan health experts give tips on having a safe holiday


LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – Emergency rooms and pediatric units across Michigan are seeing a surge in cases of the respiratory illness 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 mother said it’s better to be safe than sorry. It will look a little different this year for Alexa Mannor.

Mannor said her 2-month-old son Kingston started acting different just before the holiday.

“We weren’t really sure what was wrong with him,” Mannor recalled. “We noticed that he was breathing weird. He was really tired, he just looked really sick, so I took him to the emergency room.”

It’s a good thing she did. Kingston’s oxygen levels were dropping dangerously low. He was admitted to the hospital with RSV.

Doctors said Mannor’s story is all-too-familiar right now. In early November, pediatric centers across Michigan warned they had bed shortages caused by RSV.

As people get ready to gather with family, experts said it’s important to be cautious.

“You don’t want to be the person who comes and says, ‘Well, I didn’t feel really 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, with McLaren Health. “Before you head off to grandma’s house, you do a health check of your family, make sure everyone’s well.”

People who don’t feel well should stay away from family, especially those younger than 6 and older than 75.

“Disposable single-use implements might be a good idea,” said Dr. Steven W. Martin, with Sparrow Health. “But certainly frequent cleaning of any surfaces that are being touched by a variety of people.”

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

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

Kingston made a full recovery.

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

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

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