Over the past two months, first in Europe, and more recently principally in cities along the East Coast of the United States, with some now also reported in the Midwest and South, a small number of children have developed a more serious inflammatory syndrome in temporal association with COVID-19 in the community, often leading to hospitalization, and occasionally requiring intensive care. Children with SARS-CoV2-associated pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome have persistent fever, inflammation, evidence of poor function in a single organ or many organs, and other specific clinical and laboratory features, in the absence of other known infections. Some these children have part or all of the features seen in Kawasaki Syndrome.

In order to promote awareness of this newly emerged phenotype, please read the media statement (linked below) which contains important information about case definition, proposed lab testing, and evaluation.

Statement to the Media following the 2 May Pediatric Intensive Care-COVID-19 International Collaborative Conference Call (pdf)

As pediatric practices work to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and still provide routine care, concerns about missed opportunities to vaccinate children are growing. Pediatricians across the country are reporting that some parents are cancelling routine checkups and vaccination appointments, including for first-time vaccinations for infants, according to an April 11 article in The Washington Post. Many practices are also delaying booster shots for older children, the article noted. A similar report appeared in The New York Times on April 23.

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) recently issued guidance for maintaining immunizations during the current pandemic in the U.S., as has the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Globally, more than 117 million children in 37 countries may not receive measles vaccines, according to the Measles & Rubella Initiative, a partnership founded by the American Red Cross, CDC, UNICEF, the United Nations Foundation, and the World Health Organization. Measles immunization campaigns in 24 countries have already been delayed, the group said in an April 14 news release.

The concerns come as health care providers, advocates, and others prepare to mark National Infant Immunization Week (April 25 - May 2) and World Immunization Week (April 24 - 30), annual observances that highlight the benefits of vaccination in the U.S and around the world.

There have been recent articles related to COVID-19 published in the Society’s journal, the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (JPIDS). They include articles authored by the SHARPS Collaborative, titled, “Multicenter initial guidance on use of antivirals for children with COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2”; Dr. Matthew Kan et al, “Fever without a source in a young infant due to SARS-CoV-2”; and Dr. Ogimi et al, “What’s new with the old coronaviruses?”. Feel free to peruse the JPIDS website to read the full articles. We also encourage PIDS members to consider submitting your next manuscript to JPIDS.

Background: Following the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China in December 2019, early epidemiological reports using data reported to the Chinese government suggested that increasing age was associated with severe symptoms and poor clinical outcomes. Although these reports identified SARS-CoV-2 infection in children, they did not provide thorough clinical descriptions or details of outcomes.

The PIDS Foundation is pleased to announce an additional award opportunity as part of the 2020 PIDS Fellowship Awards Program. This additional fellowship award, which is offered in conjunction with the National CMV Foundation (https://www.nationalcmv.org/home.aspx), will support basic or clinical research focused on cytomegalovirus infection, especially congenital CMV infection. The two-year grant is available for PID fellows-in-training who are enrolled in a certified US or Canadian program. The award provides $25,000 in total costs (inclusive of 8% indirect costs) per year for 2 years, with the 2nd year dependent upon a satisfactory research progress. One award is available.

Click here for instructions and other details: https://pidsfoundation.org/research.

The submission deadline is 5 pm ET on Monday, June 8, 2020.

Feel free to contact the PIDS Headquarters office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. should you have questions or need additional information.

Today, PIDS joined IDSA, SHEA, and SIDP in a joint statement responding to President Trump’s announcement to defund the World Health Organization.  Please click the link below to view the entire statement.

WHO Joint Statement 

This hospital was built for a pandemic

Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center was built after 9/11 to handle mass casualties. The coronavirus outbreak poses its first big test.

April 9, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EDT

CHICAGO — As this city braces for April 20, the anticipated peak of coronavirus infections here, doctors and nurses at Rush University Medical Center say they are prepared, not just because of their training, but because of where they work: A 14-story, 830,000-square-foot facility built specifically for a deadly pandemic.

The butterfly-shaped building, known as “the Tower,” opened in January 2012 as the first of its kind in the United States. Built at a cost of $654 million in the shadow of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks, the facility was designed to be able to quickly handle waves of patients, expand its bed capacity to 133 percent and control airflow to entire sections of the structure to prevent cross-contamination.  Read More

Dr. Danielle Zerr

Dr. Danielle Zerr is Professor and Division Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Affiliate Investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

She received her medical degree from Temple University and completed pediatric residency, pediatric infectious diseases fellowship, and a master of public health degree at the University of Washington.

Dr. Zerr has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In her words, “The first detection of SARS-CoV2 occurred in the Seattle area, and related to this, Seattle was the first epicenter in the US.  While preparations for COVID-19 had been initiated, a lot had to be accomplished in a very short timeline.  While Seattle Children's Hospital has faced shortages in personal protective equipment --which posed significant challenges-- relatively few pediatric patients have had confirmed cases and even fewer have required hospitalization.  Washington state appears to have “bent the curve” and are hopeful that they won’t experience the shortages of life-saving equipment that other sites have had to endure.”

When not consumed by COVID-19, Dr. Zerr’s research has focused on two main areas: (1) defining the epidemiology of viral pathogens in healthy children and immunocompromised hosts and (2) describing the epidemiology and defining effective prevention strategies for healthcare​-associated infections. She has been a PIDS member since 1996 and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society since 2011.

We now have a survey to register ALL pediatric COVID-19 patients in the USA!

The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Transplant Network (PIDTRAN) through its Coordinating Center at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in collaboration with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Seattle Children's and Chicago Children's Hospital have created a survey to capture epidemiologic and clinical information about ALL cases of pediatric COVID-19 infections in the United States.

We invite you/your center to participate. We are asking you to contribute de-identified information about any COVID-19 case in pediatric patients, inpatient or outpatient, diagnosed or treated at your center. 

This survey is for ALL pediatric patients less than 21 years of age in the USA, including:

  • General Pediatric patients, with or without other co-morbidities
  • Immunocompromised pediatric patients
  • Transplant  and cellular therapy recipients

To submit a case via the electronic survey forms, click here or copy and paste the following url: https://redcap.stjude.org/surveys/?s=37F8JCEWR8

What you need to know:

  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital IRB has approved this study and has determined that other sites providing non-HIPAA identifiable clinical data for this project are NOT considered to be engaged in human subjects research. Your role in the project does NOT require local IRB approval at your site, but please refer to your local policies and procedures. (please see attached documentation that can be shared with your local IRB if needed.)
  • This is an initial survey for the first 7 days of COVID-19 illness. A follow-up survey forms should be completed once the patient has reached Day 28 post Covid-19 diagnosis. We will send you an email with the link to complete the follow-up survey forms once you have submitted the initial survey.
  • We hope that individuals within each institution will work together so that cases are only entered once.
  • Sites will be asked to record the REDCap assigned subject ID for each patient they submit. This subject ID will be available on the electronic survey. We have attached a log to track to use as a tool for tracking patients; however, you may use whatever tracking method you prefer. This log is not to be shared with anyone outside of your site. Please maintain your patient tracking linking the patient to the REDCap ID until notified that the study has been completed.
  • We encourage you to share this invitation with your colleagues at other institutions!

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Outcome Letter

PIDTRAN REDCap Subject Log

COVID-19 Subject Survey

photo Dr. Kris Bryant

Message from Dr. Kris Bryant, PIDS President

Now, more than ever, the world needs pediatric infectious diseases specialists. Your energy in taking care of patients. Your expertise in developing infection prevention and treatment protocols. Your creativity in designing studies to understand the pathogenicity of the virus and its impact on children, and developing new diagnostics.

To those of you who have been working on the frontlines of the pandemic, especially those of you in Washington, California and New York, please let us know how we, as your friends and colleagues, can support you from afar. Please let us know how the Society can support you.

I believe PIDS can play a vital role in facilitating an exchange of information about COVID-19 between experts in our field. On March 18th, a presentation originally scheduled for the St. Jude/PIDS conference was presented as a webinar. Dr. Mark Denison presented "Learning from SARS-COV-2". He was joined by Dr. Janet Englund ("The Seattle Flu Study") and Dr. Hana Hakim ("Infection Control of Coronavirus"). A recording of the webinar can be found on the PIDS website. A special thank you to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for their ongoing support of PIDS and the PID community.

PIDS Connect is a place to share policies and general strategies that you have found effective in your respective hospitals and communities. Many thanks to colleagues in Seattle who have taken a lead in this area and have been making their policies readily available to all. I am thrilled to announce that Janet Englund and members of Seattle Children's team have organized a special COVID-19 Webinar for Grand Rounds and will be sharing this via Webex next Thursday, March 26 at 11 am ET/8 am PT. Presenters include:

  • Dr. Ruth McDonald, MD, Nephrology, Seattle Children's
  • Dr. Alpana Waghmare, MD, Infectious Diseases, Seattle Children's
  • Dr. Tony Woodward, MD, MBA, Emergency Medicine, Seattle Children's
  • Dr. Danielle Zerr, MD, MPH, Infectious Diseases, Seattle Children's
  • Moderator: Dr. Kristina Toncray, MD, Hospital Medicine, Seattle Children's

I hope many of you will join us on Thursday. I anticipate the recorded presentation will be available online. Click here for more details.

In closing, I am going to state the obvious. This is an incredibly exhausting, stressful time. The following cartoon was created by Signe Wilkinson, a cartoonist at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. Signe is a friend and colleague of Jonathan Zimmerman, the husband of our Secretary-Treasurer Susan Coffin. Jonathan contacted Signe and asked for permission to share the cartoon widely and Signe graciously agreed. As Jonathan noted, "There are a huge number of people who need to see this and feel the sense of encouragement and support for the hard work they are doing and the even harder work to come."

See it online at: https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-healthcare-workers-hospitals-social-distancing-medicine-20200317.html.

I also encourage you to read the text of an Op-Ed below published in USA Today. I have removed the author's name from this communication at his wife's request. She generously noted, "This is not about me. This is about all of us."

Feel free to reach out to me with questions, concerns, and requests. We will try to keep the work of the Society moving forward, recognizing that many of you have no spare minutes in your day.

As best you can, take of yourselves.

Kris

The real heroes among us

I recently read that Penguin is rushing to publish a reprint of the English translation of "The Plague," the 1947 Albert Camus novel about an Algerian town decimated by a deadly infection. Earlier this month, the book sold out of stock on Amazon. Purchases of the Italian version have tripled; so have sales of the book in France, where Camus wrote it in the waning days of World War II.

That's because of the coronavirus crisis, of course, which made me dip into my wife's tattered copy of "The Plague." And that's where I recognized her.

My wife, that is.

She's too modest to be named here, but suffice to say that she is a physician at a major hospital in our area. Her job is to help prevent and treat infections, both at the hospital and in our broader community.

Since the crisis began, she has been working 16 to 18 hours a day. She has arranged coronavirus tests for hospital staff and others. She has advised doctors — at her institution, and elsewhere — about how to care for infected patients, and how to see that they do not infect others. And she has worked with state and local government officials to control the outbreak.

That means talking or texting on the phone, from dawn through the wee hours of the night. It means listening to all of the requests that come in, and carefully addressing each one. It means consoling people who are panicked, and getting people who are too casual to step it up.

I have observed all of this effort with enormous admiration, and also with a touch of envy. I take my own job seriously, but nothing I do will ever be as significant as what she is doing right now. She is not just my wife. She's my hero.

But if you used that term to describe her — and if she found 10 free seconds to reply —she would scoff at it. She's not some rugged surgeon or emergency-room doctor like you see on the TV melodramas, saving lives between commercials for car insurance and laundry detergent.

Yet that's also what makes her an actual hero, not a Hollywood one. The real heroes among us don't command our attention. They work behind the scenes, making sure that everything around us works as well.

Do we have the right protocols in place for handling the sick? Do we have enough masks, and gloves, and hand sanitizer? And is our staff trained to use them? Not sexy stuff, and not something that most people ever think about. But my wife does.

She's not alone, of course. By now, you've surely read about the nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, that was ravaged by coronavirus. But you probably haven't read about the nearby hospital, where everyone shifted into high gear.

Engineers mobilized to seal off rooms so contaminated air would not escape. Sanitation crews worked overtime to clean every space. And with protective helmets in short supply, nurses put sanitary pads inside them to provide extra insulation. These people are the real heroes, precisely because they don't see themselves that way.

And that's also how they resemble Bernard Rieux, the doctor who narrates "The Plague." As bodies pile up around him, Rieux works tirelessly to aid the sick and dying. But he rejects all the fancy talk about sacrifice and selflessness, which doesn't really matter when you've got a plague going on.

"This whole thing is not about heroism," Rieux tells a friend. "It's about decency. It may seem a ridiculous idea, but the only way to fight the plague is with decency."

The friend asks him what "decency" means. "In general, I can't say," Rieux replies, "but in my case I know that it consists of doing my job."

When this crisis has passed, there will be another, and then another. My wife will be there, working with quiet decency to protect the rest of us. This whole thing is not about heroism, for her. She's just doing her job.

Greetings,

Now is the time when we traditionally begin promoting IDWeek 2020 and registration for members. However, these are unprecedented and unpredictable times, as you and your colleagues in the ID community are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

coronovirus illustration

PIDS continues to work to provide links to COVID-19 resources. Our sources include those provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. See COVID-19 Resources

President Trump Must Invoke Defense Production Act Now for Medical Supply and Equipment Production

Infectious disease and HIV physicians, healthcare epidemiologists and other medical professionals on the frontlines defending our country from COVID-19 urgently need equipment and supplies to protect themselves, identify infections, treat patients, and save lives. In health settings across the country, we are confronting shortages of essential equipment—including viral culture swabs, gloves, masks, eye protection, gowns and ventilators—that we need now to diagnose and treat patients and to maintain a healthy and sufficient workforce in the face of this fast-moving and destructive virus.

The Publications Committee, consisting of 17 members (including three PIDS fellows) and jointly led by the PIDS Past President Paul Spearman and the past Past President Janet Gilsdorf, is charged with developing, overseeing, and promoting the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (JPIDS), the scientific journal owned by the Society.  We meet annually at IDWeek and hold several telephone conferences each year.  In conjunction with the Editor-In-Chief (Theo Zaoutis), the Associate Editors, the editorial board, and the publisher (Oxford University Press) of JPIDS we monitor its publishing and financial performance.  

Members of the Committee, as well as the Society at large, are encouraged to develop and identify financial supporters for potential supplements (which advantage the Society financially) and to submit outstanding scientific papers to the Journal.  Further, members are reminded that accepted articles are citable even before they are assigned to an issue of JPIDS. 

Recent Committee-endorsed activities of the Journal include the uneventful move to online-only publication and to bi-monthly issues.  Further, the latest impact factor of 2.443 is strong evidence of the Journal’s success.  With input from Oxford University Press, we continue to monitor the cOAlition S initiative and its Plan S movement toward universal open access of scientific journals and its potential impact on the Journal. 

The Society’s contract with Oxford University Press ends December, 2020, and as we consider a renewed contract, the Committee is working closely with our publications consultant Dr. Morna Conway to examine new models of our financial relationship with the publisher that will result in a higher net monetary return to PIDS, a simplified structure that reduces the administrative burden on PIDS, and increased protection from risk for PIDS.  Toward this end, we plan to hold a JPIDS strategy meeting with Dr. Conway at PIDS headquarters in April. 

IDSA, SHEA and PIDS Announce 2020-2021 LEAP Fellowship Awardees

IDSA, SHEA and PIDS are pleased to announce the 2021 awardees of the Leadership in Epidemiology, Antimicrobial Stewardship, and Public health (LEAP) Fellowship.  Currently in its second iteration, the LEAP Fellowship is a $100,000 training award competitively granted to four promising young infectious diseases physicians.  Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this fellowship aims to foster the next generation of Infectious diseases leaders in public health, hospital epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship, giving them the hands-on experience they’ll need to lead and collaborate across these disciplines of healthcare.

Awardees

Angela “Holly” Villamagna, MD, Oregon Health and Science University

Leap Fellowship Project: Beyond coronavirus: establishing best practice guidance and assessing acceptability of international travel screening in Oregon acute care hospitals. 

Partner Health Department:   Oregon Health Authority

Sophie Katz, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Leap Fellowship Project:  Creating a Sustainable and Scalable Outpatient Antimicrobial Stewardship Intervention in a High-Prescribing State: Development of Provider Feedback Reports and Academic Detailing Strategies through User Centered Design.

Partner Health Department:  Tennessee Department of Health

Do Young Kim, MD, Rush University Medical Center

LEAP Fellowship Project:   Building Hospital Organizational Capacity and Knowledge to Control Candida auris (BLOCK-CA).

Partner Health Department:  Chicago Department of Public Health 

Daniel Dodson, MD, University of Colorado

LEAP Fellowship Project:  Improving assessment and implementation of antibiotic stewardship: a partnership between state public health, academic medicine, and community hospitals.

Partner Health Department:  Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

The LEAP Fellowship will commence July 1, 2020 and last one year.  The Fellowship is for early career infectious diseases physicians - those in their second or third year of fellowship or up to two years post fellowship.  For those interested in future years of the LEAP Fellowship, please visit https://idsociety.org keyword “LEAP Fellowship” for the most up-to-date information.

Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) cases continue to climb in the US and abroad. At least twenty-two states have announced confirmed cases, and several states report community transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have predicted that widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States is likely to occur.  Our members are actively engaged in the identification of potential patients, hospital preparedness, and coordination of the public health responses.  We have an incredible group of experts who bring essential expertise to the table.

In the face of what expert are calling a public health emergency, cancellations of long-anticipated meetings have been necessary. Earlier this week, out of an abundance of caution, the difficult decision was made to cancel the St. Jude/PIDS meeting. As noted in an email to attendees earlier this week, leaders wanted to avoid unnecessary exposures to the immunocompromised children of St. Jude.   Today, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s Board of Trustees unanimously decided the 6th Decennial International Conference on Healthcare Associated Infections will no longer occur March 26 – 30, 2020, recognizing that many of the participants "have a substantial role in addressing COVID-19 globally." 

PIDS is committed to supporting members engaged in combatting the COVID-19 outbreak.  Please join us for a 90-minute presentation on COVID-19 by PIDS member Dr. Mark Denison on Friday March 13 from 12:00-1:30pm EST.  Dr. Mark Denison is an internationally recognized virologist whose laboratory studies the model coronavirus, mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), to understand the replication, cell biology, and protein functions of coronavirus. Over the last two decades, the Denison Laboratory has been called upon to define the replication of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the newly emergent SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Denison and his team have played an integral role in developing virus mutants as live virus vaccine candidates and characterized the potential effect of novel antiviral compounds in disrupting replication and pathogenesis of coronaviruses. The goal of this talk will be to review what we know about COVID-19 infections, the biology of SARS-CoV-2, potential therapeutic interventions, and future needs.  Additionally, don't forget to read Dr. Stanley Plotkin’s article in JPIDS, “The New Coronavirus, the Current King of China”.  

The International Affairs Committee and other PIDS members are preparing a compilation of the experience of COVID-19 in children to serve as a resource and advocate for the inclusion of children in research related to this pathogen. Materials will be posted soon. We encourage you to share resources developed by your respective hospitals or state health departments on PIDSConnect. It is also an excellent place to pose questions to other members about hospital or community preparedness activities. 

Finally, our partner societies have shared some excellent resources available here: IDSASHEA, and AAP.

 

Website developed by Katalyst Solutions, LLC