Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, using masks and maintaining social distancing have been most important protocols to avoid contraction of virus. However, constant usage of the masks have weakened the immune system in children, say experts in England.
Acoording to the experts, children for the last 15 months or so have not had great encounters with viral pathogens, causing seasonal flu. Dur to which their bodies have not been able to build the immunity to fight the bugs in the post-pandemic days.
As per a Guardian report, virologists are also concerned about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a virus that leads to serious lung infection, and sometimes even death, in children under the age of one. Notably, there is no vaccination to cure it.
Sharing the pros of using masks, experts opined that its usage and social distancing kept children away from contracting the disease during the pandemic but before the pandemic, Respiratory Syncytial Virus brought more children to the hospital than any other seasonal bug.
However they foresee a danger saying that once things go back to normal, RSV may turn more fatal. Children will catch the disease again because masks, social distancing and other Covid-related protocols will eventually be abolished.
“Flu worries me, but there is a vaccine and so the most vulnerable will still have access to the vaccines,” said Dr Catherine Moore, consultant clinical scientist for Public Health Wales.
According to a report, more than 30,000 babies and children under the age of five were annually admitted to hospitals in the United Kingdom because of RSV before the pandemic.
"We’ve got two cohorts now of children who’ve never met the virus, so they are susceptible, but there’s two years’ worth of them! We are preparing for a significant impact in paediatrics," said Moore.
Meanwhile, fearing a third wave of COVID-19, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria reiterated that there is no evidence to suggest that children will be affected more in the next wave of the infection.