Children's viruses that disappeared during pandemic lockdowns are back, doctors say

CBC

As children emerge from their homes after COVID-19-related lockdowns, common viruses that all but disappeared during the pandemic are re-emerging too, doctors say.

"This time of year in pediatric hospitals, it's usually quiet," said Dr. Fatima Kakkar, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal. "But now we're seeing a surge of respiratory infections."

The level of non-COVID illnesses is what Kakkar usually sees in the fall, she said, when children are out and about in daycares or schools.

While the public health measures taken in the last year — including physical distancing, masking and staying home — were used to stop the spread of COVID-19, they also had the side benefit of preventing other respiratory viruses, including colds, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human parainfluenza virus, which causes croup.

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