Dr. Antoni Soriano, awarded by the European Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID)

The VHIR researcher has been recognized for his research on the low transmissibility of COVID-19 from pediatric patients.


Dr. Antoni Soriano, from the Pediatric Infectious Pathology and Immunodeficiency Unit and researcher of the Infection in the Immunocompromised Pediatric Patient research group at Vall d'Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), has received the Research Presentation Award granted by the European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID). The doctor has been awarded in the framework of the 39th annual meeting of the ESPID that took place between May 24 and 29 telematically.

The award was for the oral communication of the prospective study that showed that minors were low transmitters of SARS-COV-2. Only 8% of the pediatric patients studied were transmitters of the virus to their family members. In other paragraphs, only 80 cases out of 1,040 transmitted the disease to their environment. A total of 3,392 family contacts of patients who recorded a positive PCR test between July 1 and October 31, 2020 were studied. At that time, the presentation of the results of the study served to support the opening of educational centers and the return of schoolchildren to the classrooms that have been closed during the first months of the state of alarm decreed due to the epidemiological situation.

The study also showed that almost half of the patients (47%) passed COVID-19 asymmetrically. Moreover, among the children who showed symptoms, the most common were fever (71.9%; 395 children), cough syndrome (37.4%, 206 children), headache (23.6%, 130 children), fatigue (23.2%, 128 children) and diarrhea (16.5%, 91 children).

These results confirm the trend observed in a previous survey, from August 2020, which already noted the low incidence of malignancy among the pediatric population. 

Dr. Soriano explains that "this award represents an international recognition at the highest level of the work carried out since the beginning of the pandemic by all primary care and hospital pediatricians from all over Catalonia, who are part of the COPEDI-CAT research network. In fact, the ESPID congress is the largest international congress on pediatric infectious diseases held annually, and therefore has enormous value for all of us. One of the consequences of the award is that the congress organization formally invites us to participate in a rolled talk on the best of ESPID in the 2022 edition to present the novelties of our studies".

The annual ESPID meeting brings together professionals dedicated to the search for infectious diseases in children to share knowledge and incorporate the latest procedures from published studies and research. This congress also promoted networking among professionals in the field in order to generate synergies among professionals on a global scale.

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