[Opinion] COVID‑19 and paediatric challenges: An interview with Professor of Paediatrics Vana Papaevangelou (University of Athens School of Medicine)
- Ioannis N. Mammas
- Maria Theodoridou
- Demetrios A. Spandidos
Affiliations: Institute of Paediatric Virology, Aliveri, 34500 Island of Euboea, Greece
- Published online on: October 30, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.9426
Copyright: © Mammas
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2) is a novel coronavirus, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) and affects children less frequently than adults. According to Professor Vana Papaevangelou, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Athens School of Medicine, children comprise only 2‑6% of COVID‑19 cases, worldwide, and they are not considered as super‑spreaders of this infection. SARS‑CoV‑2 is transmitted through droplets, fomites, aerosol and fecal‑oral route, while there is no strong evidence as yet, supporting transplacental transmission. Professor Papaevangelou highlights the epidemiological differences between seasonal influenza and COVID‑19 and accepts that school closure had no direct impact since children are not the main transmitters of SARS‑CoV‑2. On the other hand, social distancing clearly limited the transmission of SARS‑CoV‑2, while quarantine seemed necessary during the first wave of this pandemic. She refers to antivirals, as well as other therapeutic agents able to diminish the immune response producing multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which is associated with increased mortality, and she notes that these agents were rarely used in children with COVID‑19, while in most cases supportive treatment sufficed. She finishes with the ongoing scientific efforts for the development of an effective and safe vaccine against SARS‑CoV‑2 indicating that so far the most promising vaccine developments include vaccines that use viral vectors.