Doctors say they are treating an extraordinary number of cases of various common viruses in young patients that they believe are the result of a severe decrease in immunity caused by the lockdowns and other COVID-19 mitigation measures.
The Washington Post reported the Yale New Haven Children's Hospital in Connecticut is seeing, in addition to COVID-19, staggering numbers of children with adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus, influenza and parainfluenza.
Thomas Murray, an infection control expert and associate professor of pediatrics at Yale, told the Post that some children have been admitted to the hospital with as many as three different viruses at the same time.
And the overall rise in cases, he added, is "not typical for any time of year and certainly not typical in May and June."
Another doctor told the Post "we're seeing viruses behave in very odd ways that they weren't before."
Murray was among physicians interviewed by the Post who believe the strict pandemic measures have compromised immunity.
But the loss of primary care during the pandemic also had an impact, the physicians said.
The lockdowns and other restrictions were "a massive natural experiment," said Michael Mina, an epidemiologist who serves as the chief science officer for the online health platform eMed.
"All of these decisions," Murray said, "have consequences."
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