From the use of telemedicine to improve remote care to the need to speed up the recovery of vaccinations lost during the Covid emergency. Up to fake news on children's health and the delay in diagnosing various diseases that affect children, including celiac disease: Covid has changed pediatric care. But one of the traits that characterized the winter just past was the disappearance of infectious diseases typical of childhood, such as flu and measles, and above all the drastic decrease of more than 80% in hospitalizations and access to the emergency room for bronchiolitis and other respiratory infections among newborns, thanks to the measures adopted against Sars-Cov-2, from masks to spacing.
The point will be taken by the 76th Congress of the Italian Society of Pediatrics, scheduled from 25 to 28 May. One aspect that made the past winter unique was the disappearance of the Syncitial Respiratory Virus, which affects 3.5 million children worldwide every year and is one of the most frequent reasons for accessing the emergency room in the first months of life. An Italian study published in Jama and conducted at the Policlinico Umberto I of Rome-La Sapienza University observed an 82% decrease in hospitalizations for respiratory diseases under 5 years in the 2020-21 season compared to 2018-19. Furthermore, in hospitalized patients the rhinovirus was the master in 86% while the respiratory syncytial virus appeared only in 8.5% of the samples, with a decrease of 88% compared to winter 2018-19.
Flu, measles and strep infections have also disappeared. A recent multicentre study involving 15 Italian hospitals and published in the Journal of Environmental Research of Public Health, observed an overall decrease of 85% in access to the emergency room, mainly due to the reduction of infections transmitted by air. The Covid pandemic, explains Fabio Midulla, head of the pediatric emergency room at Umberto I and president of the Italian Society of Childhood Respiratory Diseases (Simri), "has left us an important legacy that we must preserve: the effectiveness of the use of masks, ventilation of the classrooms, temperature control at the entrance to the school and in crowded rooms.hand hygiene and greater attention by pediatricians and parents in not taking children to school if they have a fever, cough or if they have just recovered. This has improved the health of the little ones and lightened the hospitals ". On the other hand, Midulla continues," the number of children who arrived in the emergency room in critical conditions due to delayed diagnosis of decompensated diabetes, leukemia and childhood cancers increased ". And the delay of diagnosis. it is also felt heavily on diseases of the intestinal tract, the symptoms of which are often underestimated. "children who arrived in the emergency room in critical condition due to delayed diagnosis of decompensated diabetes, leukemia and childhood cancers ". And the delay of diagnosis is also felt heavily in diseases of the intestinal tract, whose symptoms are often underestimated."children who arrived in the emergency room in critical condition due to delayed diagnosis of decompensated diabetes, leukemia and childhood cancers ". And the delay of diagnosis is also felt heavily in diseases of the intestinal tract, whose symptoms are often underestimated."
In a study we conducted in Campania we have seen, for 2020, a 30% reduction in the diagnoses of celiac disease, a gluten intolerance that affects 52,000 very young people to which are added 100,000 cases still undiagnosed. This means that those who have symptoms wait longer to get a cure ", explains Riccardo Troncone, professor of Pediatrics at the University of Naples Federico II and president of the International Society for the study of celiac disease." We have a way of thinking - he adds - that this data also concerns the other Italian regions and even more those that had, in the past year, a greater impact with the pandemic. "This will be one of the topics on the agenda at the SIP congress which will involve about 800 pediatric professionals, with over 500 papers and 31 lectures.The heart of this year's edition will be the institution of 'Pediatrician Day', which will be celebrated on May 25th.