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Did the lockdown policy cause the surge of hepatitis cases among children?

  • 27-04-2022 3:56pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,765 ✭✭✭ political analyst

    The adenovirus that usually causes cold and flu and diarrhoea has been linked to the increase in the number of cases of children having acute hepatitis in Britain because the lockdowns that were imposed in March 2020 meant that children were much less likely to get the adenovirus and thus unable to develop immunity to it.

    Did public-health experts who called for lockdowns not think of this being a possible consequence of the policy they were recommending? Surely, Covid didn't mean that those experts forgot about other diseases, did they?



  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    The problem here of course being that they were our first and practically our only "solution".You're right, it is completely inconclusive.We just don't know.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,604 ✭✭✭ Amadan Dubh

    Under 40s (which is almost half the population) were three times more likely to die from suicide than COVID BEFORE we had vaccines. Just think of that for context.

    Of course it is plausible that other health issues could have drifted under the radar because of the hysteria around COVID.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,484 ✭✭✭ timmyntc

    There are several children needing liver transplants as a result, given the relatively low incidence so far thats a pretty high % of severe cases

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,318 ✭✭✭✭ seamus

    Like with covid, the severe cases obviously bubble up faster. As they get a better grip on this, they'll develop quicker ways of identifying and classifying this. We'll likely discover that as a % of total cases, the number of severe outcomes is very low.

    Nevertheless, we still have to keep this in perspective. In a given year, the odds of a child dying from cancer is between 1 in 500k to 1 in 300k. The odds of a child dying from septicaemia, around 1 in a million. Which means by implication that the number of children suffering with these conditions and surviving and needed critical treatments, like surgery and transplants, is much higher.

    Based on the data we have right now, the odds of dying from this hepatitis is 1 in 3 million or less. It will probably increase as we get a better grip on it, but it is very, very far away from the panic stage.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Lockdowns weren't designed to reduce deaths, they were designed to reduce the pressure on the health service.

  • Registered Users Posts: 519 ✭✭✭ foxsake

    short term thinking and a lack of backbone has nowgoosed the health service in the medium - long term with the stuff they didn't do over that 2 year (or so ) period.

    you wouldn't need any science or medical grounding to know that lockdowns and other measures like excessive hand sanitiser would damage immune systems esp on kids in their formative years. we will see more of this without a doubt .

    we are seeing reports that language development is stunted for a whole generation of under 5 due to lockdowns and associated measures. even simple things like kids learning to swim was curtailed and now the classes are over subscribed - sure swimming lessons isnt a huge thing (but speech development is ) but all these add up

    it's not like these issues were never flagged at the time - they were and they were ignored - everybody and everything was burnt on the alter of covid and the myth of protecting "the grannys".

    If we take the view that protecting the health service for those at risk of covid was the right thing - it wasn't btw - why aren't the state agencies demanding people lower their risk factors now in advance of the next pandemic to reduce the demand.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,604 ✭✭✭ Amadan Dubh

    Only lockdowns or our entire covid restrictions? Because I recall not wanting to get vaccinated and seeing no reason at all for a booster ever for myself due to the negligible covid risk I pose to our health service as being an inappropriate stance to take by those shaming the "unvaxxed".

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,337 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    Such emotive language, " shaming the unvaxxed " and " hysteria " . Appears a lot in your posts ..

    The " unvaxxed" when Delta was the main variant , were multiple times more likely to be infected and 11 times more likely to be hospitalised and 15 times to become severely ill , despite you stating the opposite whenever you get the opportunity.

    That would be across the age groups by the way , not just elderly .

    Any accusations of " shaming" as you put it , were highest when anybody dared to mention the above , and the fact that exceeding high numbers of the unvaccinated were being hospitalised and needing ICU care , despite being their being a small proportion of the total adult population .

    Do you not think it would have been remiss of health care professionals and public health to point out this glaringly, obvious fact , or would you prefer we all stfu and leave " the unvaxxed " to their fate , despite the effects on the rest of the population in the form of continuing restrictions? No need to answer that , I already know you have no regard for what is factual data for most people.

    To get back to the point of the thread ....This burst of hepatitis infections has not been either connected with Covid , or adenovirus as yet never mind lockdowns, and may in fact be something connected with all of the above or just coincidental ..who knows ? We will have to wait and see .

  • Genuine question - where did you draw that conclusion from? I.e. do you have a source for the claim that lockdowns were not designed to reduce deaths? I thought (please correct me if I am wrong) the idea was that by reducing the pressure on the health service, deaths would be reduced...

  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭ Captain Barnacles

    I see they are bending over backwards to deflect away from the lockdown cause of this, was reading a BBC article saying it could be related to dogs.

    Yes dogs did this, not the nonsensical lockdowns that shielded kids from viruses they need exposing to to build up immunities ... but eh ermm .. eh -- dogs.

    Yep ... imagine keeping a straight face whilst writing that article.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,337 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    Here's the thing, Captain...the viruses that normally cause hepatitis don't do anything to build your immunity up ..except cause , eh , hepatitis , which is a nasty bug if you ever had it and not something that anyone would want to be encountering more than once in a lifetime .

    So no , lockdown and lack of " building up little children's immunity to hepatitis" (!) of all things did not cause this !

    Fxxx knows what did but I am pretty sure that would not be up there on the list .

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,484 ✭✭✭ timmyntc

    Except in all these cases the children tested negative for all hepatitis viruses - it was not the usual causes of hepatitis that did this, otherwise it would have been a regular occurrence because those viruses never really went away proper, nor were children exposed to them in any unusual way. The last 2 years of pandemic are the unusual factor in this cluster of cases, which suggests something to do with pandemic or pandemic response is to blame.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,318 ✭✭✭✭ seamus

    The point is that if this issue is due to children not being exposed to certain viruses (e.g. adenovirus) due to being locked down, then why is it a new problem? Adenoviruses have been around a long time. Why would they now suddenly start causing hepatitis just because kids weren't exposed to them before? If there was a link, then we would have known about it previously.

    Given the extremely low numbers involved here, there is of course the possibility that this link has always existed, but was so statistically small that it was never picked up before. Which would mean that what we are seeing now is 3 years' worth of adenovirus-linked hepatitis compressed into one year, and so it's popped up on the radar. That doesn't mean lockdown or the pandemic response caused hepatitis; these cases would have happened anyway, just over a longer timeframe.

    It also can't be ignored the really obvious link between many of these cases; children under 12 - and mostly under 5. What else links them? Not being vaccinated. It's possible that this is a post-covid issue in younger children that we're not seeing in other populations because they're vaccinated.

    The dog link also isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. Some surveys suggest that a third of young families (adults aged 19-40) had or planned on getting a new pet during covid. Given that these would be the group most likely to have young children, it's not unrealistic to suggest there could be a knock-on effect. Immune reponses are known to be a component in some forms of hepatitis, and a new animal into an environment with a allergen-sensitive child, could set off a chain of events.

    There are a lot of possibilities here, it's irrational to presuppose anything.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,484 ✭✭✭ timmyntc

    Which would mean that what we are seeing now is 3 years' worth of adenovirus-linked hepatitis compressed into one year, and so it's popped up on the radar.

    Which would mean that lockdown policy has created this surge of hepatitis cases among children

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The recent UKHSA report showed that 70% of the children involved were part of a houshold that included dogs. Given it's a common link it would be wise to explore it but I doubt it's a serious hypothesis (not that that bothered the media relorting on it).

    FWIW I very much doubt it's Adenovirus. They aren't generally associated with Hepatitis in healthy children. Even a reduction in immunity wouldn't explain the sudden rise in cases.

    Likewise with Covid. No matter how rare it would have been spotted it by now. For comparison MIS-C is extremely rare yet it was spotted early in the pandemic.

    The truth is no one has any idea what the root cause but that hasn't stopped people linking it to *insert relevant agenda here*.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,337 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    Adenoviruses don't usually cause hepatitis though even in a young child who has not been infected with them before .

    And they have not yet found a source virus although adenovirus is present in a good number of cases .

    No proof yet as to the cause . Saying it is due to the pandemic is probable but not definite . Saying it us due to lockdown is too simplistic.

    Some of the children affected are older and would have been mixing with other children in school / afterschool .

    One area that is being investigated is an overreaction of the immune system causing autoimmune hepatitis which can present similarly .

    Not related to Covid . Nor have they been vaccinated .

    There would be a number of specific antibodies present in a diagnosis of AIH ( Auto immune induced hepatitis) and the jury is out as yet whether it is this , or a post viral infection reaction .

    It could be that these children are reacting to previously common viral infections in a very exaggerated way but Misc- C was picked up quickly and is rare , so why would this be so difficult to diagnose?

    Read an interesting article about it that said that there was a similar affect noted post 1918 flu epidemic ...lot of cases of jaundice in children . In the Telegraph . Doesn't go into further detail .

    It's a mystery and not a nice one .

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,337 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    RIP to that poor child that died and condolences to the family .

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    It's bizarre (I admit, having kids in that age group I am thinking, not ANOTHER f**king random viral thing to worry about 🙄).I don't think lockdowns caused it directly, but just anecdotally, the kids around us have been hit by so many things badly in the last 10 months and there's no doubt the lockdowns were just not good in that respect.I mean you don't want your kids permanently sick from exposure to germs when they are small, but with the lockdowns, it has been kind of extremes - nothing at all, then everything, then nothing, then everything on steroids basically, because masks went too.It's been very tough and very weird.I guess this is possibly an indirect result.It was inevitable there would be unknown unknowns resulting from these lockdowns, things we could never predict happening and this may well be one of them.

    And RIP to that poor child who passed away, and the parents and family.Terrible for them all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,220 ✭✭✭ CruelSummer

    Poor child who passed away, RIP. Also thinking of those who are ill. Really hope they get to the root of this issue soon.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,337 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    Have to say that while one of mine has developed an autoimmune disease post Covid infection , it could be as you and others have said lack of immunity post restrictions .

    Don't know what it is , but don't feel comfortable talking about it anymore after that news today 😑

    Take care x

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    Possibly.Nothing we can do except wait it out and see if a cause is found at some stage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,916 ✭✭✭ screamer

    I’m no expert but I do not think that this is to do with lockdown at all. I wonder did those kids contract covid and this could be a rare side effect. Remember that cohort under 5 are not vaccinated. It’s only my thinking but there’s more to this than adenovirus.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,604 ✭✭✭ Amadan Dubh

    Do you understand what context is? 11 or 15 times of an extremely low possibility could still be an extremely low possibility. And this was the case with half the population, ie under 40s, who were, without vaccines, as they always have been, of negligible risk of needing to go to hospital should they have contracted COVID.

    I took the J&J one shot vaccine but had absolutely no problem with someone who never wanted to take a vaccine because, as I have constantly pointed out to you, an unvaccinated person is not a risk. The risk comes from a COVID positive person! You can't think in black and white with COVID, as you cannot in life in general.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,337 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    Eh , think that the person thinking in black and white is you AD .

    That post was over 2 weeks ago .... do you understand context ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,164 ✭✭✭ ceadaoin.

    Saw this earlier. It seems likely that lockdown and social distancing did cause these cases, due to younger children not being exposed as expected to 2 viruses in particular

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,343 ✭✭✭ fun loving criminal

    Genuine question. Was Australia and New Zealand right with their zero covid approach at the beginning? A normal life for all.

    Now we have all sorts of problems. Kids with hepatitis. Supply issues because of staff out sick. Cost of living getting more expensive, a recession on the way.

    And if anyone thinks a zero covid approach is impossible, we didn't even try a zero covid approach. If we all had a zero covid approach at the beginning, maybe it wouldn't have gotten into Australia or New Zealand.