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The Wall Street Journal: COVID-19 Prevention Measures Are Keeping Childhood Diseases Like Chickenpox at Bay

By Peter Landers and Miho Inada

The disinfecting and hand-washing that became common during the Covid-19 pandemic have also served as powerful tools against a host of childhood ailments such as chickenpox, stomach viruses and strep throat, recent data suggest.

Doctors say that as countries with widespread Covid-19 vaccination, including the U.S., get back to normal, people would be well-advised to keep up some of the practices they have adopted—even if pandemic weariness makes them less than eager to take that advice.

“We’ve seen a dramatic decline in the numbers,” said Rana El Feghaly, a pediatrician and director of clinical services at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. “All the peaks that we expected in the winter of this year, we haven’t seen any of those.”

The virtual disappearance of the flu has been well-documented, with cases down 99% or more in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere over the winter. The U.S. recorded just one child death related to the flu in the 2020-21 season, down from 199 the previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is less widely known—in part because the data are more scattered—is the long list of other viruses and bacteria that have found themselves shut out in the pandemic world.


Read the full article via The Wall Street Journal

Find more information about COVID-19 from Children's Mercy