COVID is making flu, other common viruses act in unfamiliar ways

At one point last month, children were admitted to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital with a startling range of seven respiratory viruses. They had adenovirus and rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus, influenza and parainfluenza, as well as the coronavirus — which many specialists say is to blame for the unusual surges.

“That’s not typical for any time of year and certainly not typical in May and June,” said Thomas Murray, an infection-control expert and associate professor of pediatrics at Yale. Some children admitted to the hospital were co-infected with two viruses and a few with three, he said.

More than two years into the coronavirus pandemic, familiar viruses are acting in unfamiliar ways. Respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV, typically limits its suffocating assaults to the winter months.

Rhinovirus, cause of the common cold, rarely sends people to the hospital.

And the flu, which seemed to be making a comeback in December after being a no-show the year before, disappeared again in January once the omicron variant of the coronavirus took hold. Now flu is back, but without one common lineage known as Yamagata, which hasn’t been spotted since early 2020.

Monday, June 13, 2022 - 3:05pm