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Immunity Debt

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:51 pm
by lpm
Immunity debt, the new buzzwords. Because of lockdowns and social distancing, babies and toddlers have experienced fewer of the usual respiratory viruses, leading to a surge of serious cases when diseases catch up. Two year's worth of illness in a couple of months, that sort of thing.

In particular RSV, respiratory syncytial virus: "RSV is a common respiratory illness. In adults, it generally only produces very mild symptoms – but it can make young children extremely ill, or even be fatal.
New Zealand has reported nearly 1,000 RSV cases in the past five weeks, according to the Institute of Environmental Science and Research. The usual average is 1,743 over the full 29-week winter season. Australia is also experiencing a surge, with overcrowded Victoria hospitals also hit by unusually high rates of RSV...

Epidemiologist and public health professor Michael Baker used the metaphor of forest brushfires: if a year or two have passed without fire, there is more fuel on the ground to feed the flames. When a fire finally comes, it burns much more fiercely. “What we’re seeing now is we’ve accumulated a whole lot of susceptible children that have missed out on exposure – so now they’re seeing it for the first time,” Baker said.

The “immunity debt” phenomenon occurs because measures like lockdowns, hand-washing, social distancing and masks are not only effective at controlling Covid-19. They also suppress the spread of other illnesses that transmit in a similar way, including the flu, common cold, and lesser-known respiratory illnesses like RSA. In New Zealand, lockdowns last winter led to a 99.9% reduction in flu cases and a 98% reduction in RSV - and near-eliminated the spike of excess deaths New Zealand usually experiences during winter...

Usually, people experience near-universal exposure to RSV as children, Baker said, with most exposed in their first year of life...
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... unity-debt

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:09 pm
by Woodchopper
It's also been noted in Israel:

Israel seeing spike in childhood illness RSV after it receded during COVID
Doctors speculate lockdowns kept people from contracting the virus, lowering immunity to it as the general population emerged from restrictions
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-sa ... ing-covid/

COVID-19 might be over, but viral infections in Israel are surging
Children and adults around the country are getting sick as it usually happens in the winter, experts say.
“We have never seen anything like this,” said Dr. Tal Brosh, head of Infectious Disease Unit at the Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital. “We’ve been monitoring viral infections in the hospital, which of course is just the tip of the iceberg of what is going on in the community, as for each hospitalized patient, there are many more out there. Since the spring, we have been seeing an increasing number of respiratory diseases, and since May there has been a surge in RSV cases.”
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, usually appears in the winter together with the influenza, and is especially serious for very young children and older, vulnerable adults.
“We usually see it disappearing in the summer, but if we consider the numbers now, it looks like winter in previous years,” said Brosh. “During the winter 2020-2021, we did not see one individual case of RSV.”
RSV is not the only virus that is widely circulating – other diseases that are currently infecting a growing number of people are a type of adenovirus, the human metapneumovirus (HMPV), and the rhinovirus. All of them are associated with respiratory symptoms and other symptoms similar to those of a severe cold. At the same time, influenza has not hit the country since the winter previous to the pandemic.
https://www.jpost.com/health-science/co ... ing-671354

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:18 pm
by shpalman
lpm wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:51 pm
Immunity debt, the new buzzwords. Because of lockdowns and social distancing, babies and toddlers have experienced fewer of the usual respiratory viruses, leading to a surge of serious cases when diseases catch up. Two year's worth of illness in a couple of months, that sort of thing.

In particular RSV, respiratory syncytial virus: "RSV is a common respiratory illness. In adults, it generally only produces very mild symptoms – but it can make young children extremely ill, or even be fatal.
New Zealand has reported nearly 1,000 RSV cases in the past five weeks, according to the Institute of Environmental Science and Research. The usual average is 1,743 over the full 29-week winter season. Australia is also experiencing a surge, with overcrowded Victoria hospitals also hit by unusually high rates of RSV...

Epidemiologist and public health professor Michael Baker used the metaphor of forest brushfires: if a year or two have passed without fire, there is more fuel on the ground to feed the flames. When a fire finally comes, it burns much more fiercely. “What we’re seeing now is we’ve accumulated a whole lot of susceptible children that have missed out on exposure – so now they’re seeing it for the first time,” Baker said.

The “immunity debt” phenomenon occurs because measures like lockdowns, hand-washing, social distancing and masks are not only effective at controlling Covid-19. They also suppress the spread of other illnesses that transmit in a similar way, including the flu, common cold, and lesser-known respiratory illnesses like RSA. In New Zealand, lockdowns last winter led to a 99.9% reduction in flu cases and a 98% reduction in RSV - and near-eliminated the spike of excess deaths New Zealand usually experiences during winter...

Usually, people experience near-universal exposure to RSV as children, Baker said, with most exposed in their first year of life...
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... unity-debt
Peaks like the current outbreak don’t necessarily mean the country will have more RSV cases overall, Baker says – it may just be that all the cases are grouped together, instead of spread out over several years.
Usually, people experience near-universal exposure to RSV as children, Baker said, with most exposed in their first year of life...
it can make young children extremely ill, or even be fatal.
So (a) having delayed the RSV peak doesn't necessarily mean there's more RSV and (b) RSV is worse for young children so there's no argument for letting them have had it when they were younger.

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:01 pm
by shpalman

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:27 am
by lpm
Does anyone know if there's been a surge in colds, noroviruses and similar in Scotland in the past couple of weeks, since the school reopening?

RSV hospitalisations must be a knowable statistic. Are there stats for other respiratory illnesses?

I'm expecting to see a lot of children ill in September. Is there any way to get comparisons of ill due to colds (untested) and Covid (tested)?

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:03 am
by headshot
Most children were at school for most of the summer term, and have been freely mixing over the summer. Why would there be a sudden rise in regular illnesses?

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:14 am
by lpm
1) Because there always is. Children mix the geographical variants of colds over the summer and bringing them in on the first day of school.

2) Because loads of children partly missed out on school during the summer term, particularly at the end.

3) Because cold and flu viruses have been artificially suppressed for 1.5 years.

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 1:22 pm
by bob sterman
headshot wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:03 am
Most children were at school for most of the summer term, and have been freely mixing over the summer. Why would there be a sudden rise in regular illnesses?
Most children were at school from around March 8th - with breaks for holidays, self-isolation and "bursting bubbles".

Not sure how this compares to Israel.

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 1:38 pm
by bob sterman
lpm wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:27 am
Does anyone know if there's been a surge in colds, noroviruses and similar in Scotland in the past couple of weeks, since the school reopening?
Laboratory reports for norovirus in Scotland up to the end of week 33 of 2021 (week ending 22 August 2021). Many school terms in Scotland started on August 16th...
norovirus.jpg
norovirus.jpg (45.01 KiB) Viewed 203 times

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 1:51 pm
by Woodchopper
bob sterman wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 1:38 pm
lpm wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:27 am
Does anyone know if there's been a surge in colds, noroviruses and similar in Scotland in the past couple of weeks, since the school reopening?
Laboratory reports for norovirus in Scotland up to the end of week 34 of 2021 (week ending 22 August 2021). Many school terms in Scotland started on August 16th...

norovirus.jpg
Interesting that there used to be a marked seasonal effect with norovirus.

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 1:52 pm
by bob sterman
For RSV and rhinovirus...
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) increased to Low activity level, with 82 laboratory-confirmed cases in Scotland during week 33 (1.50 cases per 100,000 population). This compares with 61 laboratory-confirmed cases (1.12 cases per 100,000 population) in week 32. Rhinovirus increased to Low activity level having previously been at Baseline activity level. All other non-flu pathogens were at Baseline activity level.
https://publichealthscotland.scot/media ... report.pdf

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:13 am
by Millennie Al
Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 1:51 pm
Interesting that there used to be a marked seasonal effect with norovirus.
More interesting that a disease commonly called the "winter vomiting bug" doesn't peak in Winter

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:04 am
by lpm
Double.post

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:05 am
by lpm
lpm wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:04 am
https://twitter.com/Williams_T_C/status ... 71043?s=19
just finished nights on call, and found that a toxic triad of RSV, rhinovirus and SARS-CoV-2 is starting to stretch the Scottish hospital I work in to its limits
it's only August
what went wrong? 🧵1/n

Re: Immunity Debt

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:11 pm
by raven
lpm wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:27 am
Does anyone know if there's been a surge in colds, noroviruses and similar in Scotland in the past couple of weeks, since the school reopening?

RSV hospitalisations must be a knowable statistic. Are there stats for other respiratory illnesses?
The PHE weekly covid/flu reports have started including data on RSV and other viruses. They can be found here

ETA: Just in case anyone wanted data for England...