Special Issue "Children and Adolescents: Preventable Infectious Diseases"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Adolescents".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alberto Villani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. The Italian Pediatric Society, via Gioberti 60, 00185 Roma, Italy
2. Pediatric Department, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, 00165 Roma, Italy
Interests: pediatric; infectious diseases; adolescence; children; communication
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Elena Bozzola
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. The Italian Pediatric Society, via Gioberti 60, 00185 Roma, Italy
2. Pediatric Department, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, 00165 Roma, Italy
Interests: pediatric; infectious diseases; adolescence; children
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Paolo Palma
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Public Health, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
2. Academic Department of Pediatrics, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, 00165 Rome, Italy
Interests: pediatrics; infectious diseases; adolescence; children

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Preventable infectious diseases are among the major cause of disability and death in the world. Substantial global progress has been made in reducing child death for preventable, common infectious diseases; however, globally, infectious diseases remain the leading causes of death for children under five. The World Health Organization supports national governments to organize and implement programs aimed at strengthening ongoing control of infectious diseases, reducing transmission, mortality, morbidity and human suffering and aiming at  eliminating preventable infectious diseases. To address infectious disease circulation, updated epidemiology evaluations are essential for the implementation of appropriate immunization recommendations and implement public health policy programs. Vaccination is a useful strategy to avoid the significant burden of preventable infectious disease incidence and complications and should be encouraged from both a medical and economic viewpoint. Communication strategies are also important to set and spread effective health messages to families to address the perceptions of the individual risk of the disease, recommending immunization strategies according to the intended audience. Reaching culturally diverse groups with messages vital to disease prevention and trying to convince families to modify habits may sometimes require integrated communication strategies, which may provide new opportunities and challenges for the effective spread of messages.

Dr. Alberto Villani
Dr. Elena Bozzola
Dr. Paolo Palma
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Infectious disease
  • Prevention
  • Communication
  • Immunization strategy
  • Public health programs

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Disappearance of Respiratory Viruses in Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9550; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18189550 - 10 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Background: Social distancing measures are used to reduce the spreading of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of local restrictions on the transmission of respiratory virus infections. Methods: we retrospectively analyzed the nasopharyngeal samples of all patients (0–18 [...] Read more.
Background: Social distancing measures are used to reduce the spreading of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of local restrictions on the transmission of respiratory virus infections. Methods: we retrospectively analyzed the nasopharyngeal samples of all patients (0–18 years old) admitted with respiratory symptoms in a large Italian tertiary hospital during the last three seasons from 2018 to 2021. Results: A strong reduction in all viral respiratory infections was observed in the last season (2020–2021) compared to the two previous seasons (−79.69% and −80.66%, respectively). In particular, we found that during the epidemic period 2018–2019 and 2019–2020, the total number of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases was, respectively 726 and 689, while in the last season a total of five cases was detected. In the first months of 2018–2019 and 2019–2020, the total flu infections were 240 and 354, respectively, while in the last season we did not detect any influenza virus. As other viruses, the presence of Rhinovirus declined, but to a lesser extent: a total of 488 cases were assessed compared to the 1030 and 1165 cases of the two previous respective epidemic seasons. Conclusions: Public health interventions and distancing (including continuous use of face masks) settled to counter the pandemic spread of COVID-19 had a macroscopic impact on all respiratory virus transmission and related diseases, with a partial exception of Rhinovirus. The absence of viruses’ circulation could result in a lack of immunity and increased susceptibility to serious infections in the next seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children and Adolescents: Preventable Infectious Diseases)
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Article
COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Study of Healthcare Students’ Perceptions of Life during the Pandemic in the United States and Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9217; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18179217 - 01 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Societal influences, such as beliefs and behaviors, and their increasing complexity add to the challenges of interactivity promoted by globalization. This study was developed during a virtual global educational exchange experience and designed for research and educational purposes to assess personal social and [...] Read more.
Societal influences, such as beliefs and behaviors, and their increasing complexity add to the challenges of interactivity promoted by globalization. This study was developed during a virtual global educational exchange experience and designed for research and educational purposes to assess personal social and cultural risk factors for students’ COVID-19 personal prevention behavior and perceptions about life during the pandemic, and to inform future educational efforts in intercultural learning for healthcare students. We designed and implemented a cross-sectional anonymous online survey intended to assess social and cultural risk factors for COVID-19 personal prevention behavior and students’ perceptions about life during the pandemic in public health and healthcare students in two public universities (United States n = 53; Brazil n = 55). Statistically significant differences existed between the United States and Brazil students in degree type, employment, risk behavior, personal prevention procedures, sanitization perceptions, and views of governmental policies. Cultural and social differences, risk messaging, and lifestyle factors may contribute to disparities in perceptions and behaviors of students around the novel infectious disease, with implications for future global infectious disease control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children and Adolescents: Preventable Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Utilization of Health Care Services and Common Disease Diagnoses among University Students: An Analysis of 35,249 Students from Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7148; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18137148 - 04 Jul 2021
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Abstract
The health care services for university students are important to improve student health and well-being. Analyzing the database of health conditions in the health service system will identify common health problems, which could be useful in further appropriate and specific health service planning. [...] Read more.
The health care services for university students are important to improve student health and well-being. Analyzing the database of health conditions in the health service system will identify common health problems, which could be useful in further appropriate and specific health service planning. This study aims to investigate the utilization of health care services and common disease diagnoses among university students enrolled at Chiang Mai University during the academic year of 2018. A retrospective study was carried out using health data from the electronic health records (EHR) database of the university hospital. Ethical procedures were followed. Out of the overall 35,249 students in the academic year 2018, 17,284 students (49.03%) had visited an outpatient department (65,150 outpatient department visits), and 407 students (1.15%) had been admitted to the hospital (458 inpatient department admissions). The proportions of utilization between each field of education and training were similar across both groups. The top five categories of diagnosis, for both outpatient department visits and inpatient department admissions, differed between gender. Some of the most common diseases included trauma and injury conditions, respiratory diseases, and mental health. The conclusion of the study is that integration of a health promotion program with preventive methods, especially regarding traffic injury, transmitted diseases, mental health support, and safe environments are essential for university students. A general overview of utilization and common diseases among university students, which is still lacking in the literature, could be useful as a platform to enhance health care services for common diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children and Adolescents: Preventable Infectious Diseases)

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Brief Report
Pediatric Hospitalization for Varicella in an Italian Pediatric Hospital: How Much Does It Cost?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12053; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182212053 - 17 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Background: Varicella is a common pediatric infection. Even if it generally has a benign course, it may complicate and require hospitalization. The aim of our study was to estimate the acute hospitalization cost (AHC) for varicella in the acute phase in a pediatric [...] Read more.
Background: Varicella is a common pediatric infection. Even if it generally has a benign course, it may complicate and require hospitalization. The aim of our study was to estimate the acute hospitalization cost (AHC) for varicella in the acute phase in a pediatric population. Methods: We calculated the AHC of pediatric patients admitted for varicella at Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, Rome, Italy, from 1 November 2005 to 1 November 2020. Results: In the study period, 825 pediatric patients affected by varicella were hospitalized. The mean hospitalization cost was EUR 4015.35 (range from EUR 558.44 to EUR 42,608.00). Among patients, 55% were unvaccinable due to either their age or their immunosuppression status. They would benefit from herd immunity, reducing the overall AHC by EUR 182,196,506. Since the introduction of the compulsory vaccination against varicella in Italy, we observed a significant reduction in AHC cost of 60.6% in 2019 and of 93.5% in 2020. Finally, from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we documented a decline of 81.2% and 76.9% in varicella hospitalization, compared to 2018 and 2019, respectively. Conclusions: Varicella AHC is an important economic and health assessment point and can be useful for improving preventive strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children and Adolescents: Preventable Infectious Diseases)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Prevention of meningococcal infection in children and adolescents
Authors: Di Pietro GM 1, Tagliabue C 2, Pinzani R 2, Bosis S 2, Marchisio P 1,2.
Affiliation:

1 Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Universityof Milan, Milan, Italy

2 Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Pediatria Alta Intensità di Cura, Milan, Italy
Abstract: Meningococcal disease is caused by the pathogen Neisseria Meningitidis. Thirteen serogroups have been described on the basis of antigenic differences of the capsular polysaccharide, of which serotypes A, B, C, W, X, and Y, causing most of the infections. The meningococcal disease spreads worldwide but, if in advances countries it occurs in sporadic cases or small clusters, in developing countries it is epidemic, as evidence by the highest incidence of invasive disease in the sub-Saharan Africa, also kwown as “Meningitis Belt”. The infection rate is higher in children younger than 1 year and in adolescences. Teens have a great risk of transmission due to the highest carriage rate and the exposition to strains prevalent in other countries during travels. The most common clinical manifestations are meningitis and sepsis, but all meningococcal diseases are characterized by rapid evolution, high mortality and long-term sequelae. In order to prevent the infection and to reduce bacterium circulation, it is necessary to extend the vaccination to this population. The MenACWY vaccination is recommended among adolescents, but they might also be vaccinated with MenB vaccine in order to reach the adequate coverage necessary for the achievement of the herd immunity.

Title: HPV Vaccination Acceptability and Coverage in Young Males: a Glimpse at the Italian Situation
Authors: A. Mari 1,*; L. Gianolio1,*; F. Bergamaschi 1; F. Casini 1; A. Sala 1; E. Verduci 1; V. Calcaterra,1,2; V. Fabiano 1
Affiliation:

1 Department of Pediatrics, “Vittore Buzzi” Children’s Hospital, Università di Milano, Milan, Italy

2 Pediatric and Adolescent Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

*Equal contributors
Abstract: HPV (Human Papillomavirus) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as much as 80% of sexually active individuals are exposed to HPV at least once in their lifetime. HPV infection is most frequently transient and asyntomatic, but, in a significant percentage of cases, it can lead to ano-genital and oropharyngeal malignancies. Women are particularly affected, as cervical cancer, the fourth most common cancer among females, has virtually no other etiology than HPV infection. Due to HPV diffusion and its potential morbidity, great efforts have been made in prevention strategies. Currently, in Italy, two vaccines, which target different numbers of HPV sero-types, are available: bivalent (16-18) and quadrivalent (6-11-16-18). A 9-valent vaccine, already licensed by the FDA (Food and Drugs Administation), is yet to be approved. In December 2007, Italy started the HPV National Immunization Plan (NIP), which focused initially only on twelve-year-old females, including males only from 2016. The desired herd immunity is far to be reached nowadays, especially in male population. The purpose of our study is to evaluate HPV vaccination awareness among parents of male children and adolescent, affering to our Pediatric Hospital. A survey regarding sociodemographic data, parental knowledge of HPV-related diseases and HPV prevention, and, lastly, willingness to vaccinate their sons, is currently been administered. Considering the low HPV coverage in male adolescents and the still insufficient data on vaccination acceptability, with our survey, by investigating reasons undermining vaccine acceptancy, we would like to point out NIP current weaknesses and help in defining new vaccination strategies. In times of vaccine hesitancy, mantaining a high level of awareness about the importance of vaccination coverage is, infact, fundamental.

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