Sask. fight against COVID-19 slows spread of other viruses among kids
SASKATOON -- There have been fewer colds and flus during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a respirologist at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Nita Chauhan says the hospital is quiet. The decrease in the transmission of COVID-19 led to a decrease in the transmission of other viruses, she said.
“Kids aren’t spreading normal cold viruses to one another, so I think generally kids have been a lot healthier.”
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For kids with severe lung conditions the prospect of COVID-19 was worrisome, but the increase in hand washing and staying apart helped.
“Viral infections are the most common cause of asthma attacks in kids, and so if the viruses are down then the number of asthma attacks are down and if the viruses are down then the number of exacerbations that you’re going to have in other lung diseases is going to be down.”
Asthma is better controlled right now according to Chauhan and that’s good news for five-year-old Benjamin Volk and his family.
He’s had asthma since he was one. Usually when the weather warms up, his asthma flares up and has previously been hospitalized for a week.
This year, his mom says they had a nice surprise.
“Spring came and went and we have yet to be to the hospital,” Denise told CTV News.
During the regular spring check-up with Benjamin’s respirologist, all the usual questions were asked about how spring had gone.
“The doctor asked ‘he hasn’t had a cold, he hasn’t been in hospital?’ And I said, ‘he’s been healthy for the first time in five years.’”
Volk says they pulled Benjamin out of school even before schools were closed because of his history and the threat of COVID-19 on his compromised lungs.
“When they were talking about school closing me and my husband said let’s get him out of school and keep him away from others.”
So what did Benjamin think of that?
“I did not like it because I missed my friends.”
Now he’s slowly starting to get back to his regular playing.
His advice to stay safe is simple.
“I wash my hands for 20 seconds with soap and water and I cough and sneeze into my elbow.”