Dr. Claudia Gaviria Agudelo is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of South Florida in Tampa and Co-Chair of the PIDS Telehealth Working Group.

A PIDS virtual roundtable held on July 17 explored issues related to re-opening schools in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moderated by PIDS President Kris Bryant, MD, the hour-long discussion featured experts addressing several key topics and questions, including what is known about COVID-19 prevalence, severity, and transmission among children, distancing and mask wearing, considerations for immunocompromised children, COVID-19 testing, and what communities should be doing now to help ensure that students, teachers, and school staff can safely return to in-person learning this fall. A recording of the discussion is available online.

As health officials continue to track reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidance earlier this month on diagnosing and treating the rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19. The recommendations cover common signs and symptoms, testing guidance, and treatment, and encourage a multidisciplinary approach to managing patients.

PIDS is excited to announce that we have recently posted 12 additional pediatric transplant infectious diseases interactive educational modules developed as a part of a collaborative effort between the PIDS Education Committee and the American Society of Transplantation ID Community of Practice Pediatrics Working Group. There are now a total of 20 educational modules that will help pediatric infectious diseases providers to enhance their knowledge and comfort in managing challenging infectious considerations in transplant patients.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which started in late 2019, has significantly affected most countries in the world. As a response many preventive measures have beeen implemented by National Health Departments. Preventive measures directed at children early in the pandemic included school and playground closures; however, the pediatric population has been less affected during this pandemic reflected by lower rates of infection and less severe disease (5-8% of cases). Understanding the role of age in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is critical for determining which public health interventions will be most effective at controlling community transmission. These 2 recent articles describe the in vivo dynamics of infection transmission among families and a theoretical mathematical model of transmission and the impact on disease spreading.

2020 IAC Update

The International Affairs Committee (IAC) continues to meet monthly. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has led to disruption of in-person meetings, the IAC continues to provide input and guidance to the IDWeek and ESPID planning committees advancing the pediatric global health agenda. The IAC members completed a comprehensive review on SARS-CoV-2 infection in children. Several IAC members contributed to a review article on pediatric SARS-CoV-2 experience in the United States during the early months in a collaborative effort along with PIDS colleagues.

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Dear Colleagues,

Yes, I know. COVID-19 cases are surging in communities across the United States. But just for a minute, let’s take a break and celebrate some of the other exciting work that is happening in our community of PIDS.

Parts of the country with requirements that adolescents be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) before entering school had higher HPV vaccination rates compared to nearby areas without such policies, a recent study in JAMA Pediatrics found. The findings suggest that school-entry requirements can help increase HPV vaccination coverage in the U.S., where these rates remain less than optimal.

A recent report shows that penicillin-resistant and ciprofloxacin-resistant meningococci are now present in the United States, findings that promoted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a June 18 health advisory to clinicians and public health officials.

Several PIDS members have been recognized by the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) and the American Pediatric Society (APS) for their important contributions to the field of pediatrics.

TVH App iconAs part of the PIDS Vaccine Education from Practice to Training Program, we are pleased to announce the release of the new 2020 The Vaccine Handbook App (TVHApp). TVHApp is FREE and contains the 9th edition of The Vaccine Handbook. A Practical Guide for Clinicians (“The Purple Book”) and links to numerous valuable educational resources.

Antibiotic Use and Outcomes in Children in the Emergency Department with Suspected Pneumonia.

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common infection for which antibiotics are frequently prescribed in the inpatient and outpatient setting. Pneumonia due to respiratory viruses is more common than bacterial infections in both settings. The 2011 IDSA and PIDS Pediatric CAP guidelines recommend against routinely obtaining chest radiography and prescribing antibiotics for children with CAP not requiring hospitalization. A large randomized trial in Africa demonstrated only minimal benefit from antibiotics but these results do not translate well in high-resource settings. This study examined the effect of antibiotics on a cohort of patients presenting to the Emergency Department with CAP not requiring hospitalization.

Following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis and widespread protests around the country, several health care organizations, including PIDS, have come forward to call out the impact of systemic racism on public health and to press for change. Shared widely via social media and reported by media outlets such as CNN, Newsweek, and The Hill, several of the groups’ statements noted that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected African Americans, underscoring long-standing structural inequities in the nation’s health care system.

The PIDS Pediatric Committee on Antimicrobial Stewardship (PCAS) supports best practices for developing, monitoring, and implementing ASPs in institutions caring for children. PCAS’ annual charges and goals include:

(1) Maintaining an up-to-date ASP Toolkit on the PIDS website to provide helpful resources for improving the use of antibiotics in children cared for in all healthcare settings. In January 2019 PCAS collaborated with AAP and Healthcare without Harm to develop the Pediatric Antibiotic Stewardship Program Toolkit, housed on the PIDS website. Given how rapidly the field of antimicrobial stewardship advances, PCAS is ensuring the Toolkit remains up-to-date and relevant by revising it annually. We anticipate the updated content being published in the upcoming 1-2 months.

The Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society is accepting manuscripts for its special issue “COVID-19: A Focus on Pediatrics”.

May has been an active month for PIDS on social media, highlighted by a robust, positive response, both from our membership and the general public, to our position statement on the health impacts of systemic racism and the George Floyd protests nationwide.