Common cold can only briefly help fight COVID-19. With the onset of the Delta variant, higher number of kids reported infections and hospitalizations.
An interview with Nick Hudson, head of PANDA, a group driving vaccine hesitancy in South Africa, is being shared on Facebook.
One of the country's most influential anti-vax voices, Hudson dismisses the need for vaccines, the need for social distancing, and the use of masks based on the false premise that the severity of the effect of COVID-19 on adults has been exaggerated and children have innate immunity from the virus. However, both these claims are factually incorrect.
Although according to University of Glasgow scientists, the virus that causes the common cold can effectively boost the COVID-19 virus out of the body's cells, the benefits seem to be short-lived. Once the cold has passed and the immune response has calmed down, the coronavirus would be able to cause infection again.
"Vaccination, plus hygiene measures, plus the interactions between viruses could lower the incidence of Sars-CoV-2 heavily, but the maximum effect will come from vaccination," Dr. Pablo Murcia told BBC News.
In addition, although the majority of severe cases have been reported in adults with data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting that people under the age of 18 have accounted for less than two percent of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, it does not mean they aren't prone to falling sick. The emergence of the Delta variant showed children are starting to make up a larger proportion of reported infections and hospitalizations. For instance, in the U.S. federal data suggests four out of ten children have been infected with COVID-19. Of those aged 5-11, more than 8,000 were hospitalized, a third of whom had no known medical conditions that would predispose them to severe COVID-19 outcomes. Dozens of these school-aged children have died. The CDC listed COVID-19 as a top ten cause of death for this age group.
Hudson does not account for the increasing severity of the variants of coronavirus and its impact on children. He also dismisses fact that over five million people have died due to the virus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.