Will Canada face the Post-COVID-19 Immunity Debt Amongst Kids?

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Image Credit – Global News


Maternity leave for Leeanna Palumbo during the global pandemic crisis has been homebound and restrictive. The first-time mother said that she has kept her bubble secluded with just her parents and in-laws, and explained that they are the only people who could see her eight-month-old Veda. She would not let anyone see her or touch her unless it was outside said the Burlington, Ont., resident.

Similar to many others, surviving within Ontario’s strict pandemic lockdown guidelines has been challenging for the new mother. Palumbo said that the hardest part which she has supposedly experienced is not being able to share with others. But as the world re-opens, the doctors state that the parents of the newly born babies during the pandemic are going to face a new challenge, which is the immunity debt.

What is immunity debt? Well, immunity debt refers to the lack of immune stimulation due to the reduced exposure to germs, viruses, and bacteria as a result of the COVID-19 safety and lockdown measures.

Brett Finlay, a professor of microbiology at the University of British Columbia stated that because of the whole COVID-19 lockdown, the kids are being immune-deprived and that their microbes are being messed up with. This is the reason why their immune systems are a bit screwed up.

In New Zealand which saw notable success with its stringent pandemic lockdown guidelines, the country is already suffering from the effects of this phenomenon in its hospitals that are seeing a surge of the respiratory syncytial virus, referred to as RSV.

Even though the virus is quite common, it can still make young children extremely ill and can even prove to be fatal.

According to Wellington-based epidemiologist Michael Baker, there have been nearly 1000 cases of RSV that have been reported over the last five weeks all across New Zealand. And, the usual average of a full winter season is over 1700 cases.

Baker said that this year they are witnessing a rebound of some of those infections and the most marked example of that is the RSV. He said that it certainly creates some negative effects and one of them is the rise in infections that will put more pressure or strain on the pediatric wards than normal times.

He explained that it doesn’t necessarily mean that the country will have more cases of RSV cases but as of now the cases are breaking out in clusters all at once. Will there be a similar trend in Canada?

Baker cautioned that the parents residing in Canada should not be surprised to witness a similar trend. He said that the countries that have had applied successful measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community will be seeing these effects.

And, added that they are all going to see a big spike in the count of RSV cases in kids next year or so and said that the hospitals are already bracing for a big flux of RSV patients.