Mystery illness has elements of Covid, but doctor cautions against sounding alarm

Cassie Perez knew she wasn’t feeling well. But she can’t figure out what she came down with.

"I came down with what I thought was a cold - sore throat, body aches, and then I was hit with a really high fever."

FOX 2: "What did you get tested for?"

"For Covid and it came back negative," she said.

Perez is not alone.

"I was on at the hospital for the last week or so," Dr. Matthew Sims said. "And I certainly saw a number of patients who had respiratory symptoms."

But when a test is conducted, flu, RSV or Covid, is often not the outcome.

"Frequently we just never really figure out what those are," Sims said. "We can run a test that tests for about 17 of them including flu, Covid, and RSV. But it still leaves a lot of viruses that we’re not testing for.

"And sometimes we get flares of them, and you never know unless there’s enough that somebody like the CDC comes along and really investigates."

Sims, of Corewell Health, spoke to FOX 2 about treating these unknown respiratory illnesses.

"There’s no specific treatment for them, you just have symptomatic relief and they just get better," Sims said.

But many like Cassie are reporting that their symptoms remain.

"In the last few weeks I still feel like it’s lingering, and I’m not 100 percent," she said.

As people search for answers, doctors make it clear that this is not the same as Covid.

"When Covid first started in China, in the Wuhan Province, it wasn’t that a lot of people were presenting with respiratory illness - there were a lot of people ending up in the hospital with respiratory illness - not being able to breathe, dying," Sims said. "That’s a big difference from people getting a cough, sniffles, a little wheezing."

Medical professionals do not believe there’s cause to panic.

"We’re not seeing right now any real warning signs that there’s a severe illness we’re missing," Sims said.

And doctors make it clear it’s never too early to map out a plan to get that flu or Covid vaccine.

"So a once a year boost is probably reasonable," he said.