Doctors have warned children not to infect up to three different viruses at the same time after widespread lockdowns of the COVID-19 virus eviscerated their immune systems.
Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital in Connecticut is reporting massive numbers of young patients with cases of adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human pulmonary transmissible virus, influenza and parainfluenza — in addition to COVID-19, The Washington Post reports.
Some children have been admitted with two viruses and few have three at once, according to Thomas Murray, an infection control expert and associate professor of pediatrics at Yale University.
“This is not typical any time of the year, and certainly not typical in May and June,” Murray told The Washington Post.
A slight increase in cases of flu and severe colds is expected throughout the winter months, but experts say the warm summer months do not see the same decline in disease as previous years.
While data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows overall levels of influenza infection are declining among young children, there has been a significant increase over the past few weeks, despite the hot weather.
Medics believe this may be a direct result of the strict pandemic regulations the world experienced in 2020 and 2021 – because we didn’t have the opportunity to build immunity to common viruses through exposure.
“All of these decisions have consequences,” Murray told the Washington Post.
“It’s a tremendous natural experiment, said Michael Mina, epidemiologist and chief scientific officer of digital health platform eMed.
In addition, health professionals told the Washington Post that they are concerned that some viruses may be increasing among children because they have missed out on primary care throughout the pandemic, as well as immunizations not related to COVID-19.
Dr. said. Scott Roberts, another medical expert at Yale University, told CNBC last week. “Obviously COVID has had a very big impact on that.”
“Now that people have exposed the mask, places are opening up, and we’re seeing viruses behaving in very strange ways that they haven’t before,” he added.
Annual trends show that respiratory syncytial virus typically slows down in the warmer months, as with influenza, but this year, no such trend was detected.
Other cases, such as monkeypox and tuberculosis, have emerged in the past few weeks due to the increased focus on COVID-19 prevention.
“When you have a lot of people without immunity, the effect of the season is less. It’s like a free rein, adding that the virus can ‘overcome seasonal barriers’ as a result,” Mina said.