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‘Rebound effect’: Colds on the increase as restrictions ease

Article image for ‘Rebound effect’: Colds on the increase as restrictions ease

An emergency physician says emergency departments across Victoria are experiencing a great increase in the number of infants presenting with cold and flu symptoms.

Dr Stephen Parnis says a “rebound effect” could be in play as isolation protected us from other illnesses as well as COVID-19 in 2020.

“Last year, certainly when you’re talking about influenza, it was the lowest recorded influenza incidence on record,” he told Neil Mitchell on 3AW Mornings.

“(Kids) are starting to do normal things, they’re mixing with each other in places like childcare, kinder, school.

“Children have naive immune systems, they haven’t been exposed to the number of infections us older people have and so they are much more likely to get these symptoms and we’ve just got to be prepared for it.”

Dr Parnis says there immune systems could be further compromised due to lack of exposure to viruses.

“That’s why I’ve used that term ‘rebound effect’,” he said.

“The implication this year, given that we are still grappling with a pandemic, is that you can’t let your kids go to school or kinder or childcare if they’ve got a runny nose.”

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