Detroiters Urged to Take Preventive Measures Against the Spread of RSV


Detroiters Urged to Take Preventive Measures Against the Spread of RSV

  • Detroiters urged to get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 in order to limit spread of all respiratory illness, including RSV for which there is no vaccine
  • Stay home if sick to prevent spread and seek treatment if symptoms worsen
  • Take extra precautions to prevent RSV infection among those most vulnerable to severe illness from RSV: babies, people ages 65+ and those who are immunocompromised

The Detroit Health Department is urging all Detroiters to take precautions to help prevent the spread of (respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other respiratory illnesses. There is a nationwide outbreak of RSV and influenza which is leading to an increase in demand for pediatric acute care hospital beds. Precautions include getting vaccinated as soon as possible for flu (ages 6 months+), COVID-19 and get the new bivalent booster to protect against more contagious Omicron variants if due (ages 5+ two months following completion of initial series). There is no vaccine to protect against RSV.

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association is offering the following advice to help stop the spread of respiratory illness, including RSV:

  • If you are sick, stay home
  • Practice frequent and proper hand washing
  • Monitor symptoms and seek medical care if symptoms worsen
  • Consider having children wear a mask in public places, including school especially if local rates of respiratory illnesses are high

“While we still have acute care pediatric hospital beds available here in the City of Detroit, capacity is extremely limited due to the early and growing outbreak of RSV,” said Denise Fair Razo, Chief Public Health Officer. “That is why we are urging all Detroiters to take precautions against the spread of all respiratory diseases, and that includes getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19.”

“We are seeing a surge in cases of RSV which typically affects young children and infants in the cold weather months,” said Dr. Claudia Richardson, Medical Director. “RSV causes symptoms that are similar to flu and COVID-19 including fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, chills and fatigue. The most important thing is to try to avoid getting sick. Get vaccinated and if you do get sick, stay home and monitor your

symptoms. It is especially important to protect our youngest Detroiters. RSV can cause extreme illness quickly in in infants under six months of age. Please take every precaution to prevent the spread of RSV and if your infant develops symptoms, monitor them and seek medical care if symptoms worsen.”

Uzma Shah, MD, FAAP, FAASLD, Chair of Pediatrics for Henry Ford Health, said: “Like healthcare systems across the state, Henry Ford Health is seeing a sustained increase in pediatric visits to our emergency departments due to RSV and other respiratory illnesses. While we are ready to care for anyone who needs us, we’re asking the community to help limit the strain that hospitals are feeling statewide by taking precautions that can help stop the spread of illness.”

The Detroit Health Department offers free immunizations at the following locations:

Weekday Walk-in Locations (M-F):

DHD Immunization Clinic 100 Mack Avenue M-F 8:30AM – 4:30PM

Samaritan Center 5555 Conner Ave M-F 9AM – 4PM

NW Activities Center (*COVID19 only) 18100 Meyers M-F 10AM – 6PM

COVID-19 Testing:

NW Activities Center 18100 Meyers M-F 7AM – 4PM

Walk-ins are welcome at all locations, but vaccination appointments may be scheduled using the self-scheduling option on our website: or text “vaccine” to 313-329-7272. Bring vaccination card to appointment.