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.