Another Successful Conference and other emerging infection

Editor, The Florida Pediatrician

Dear Readers,

Another successful Annual Conference of the Florida Chapter of the AAP! This was the Ninth Annual Conference. We started in 2014, when I had the privilege of being the President of the Chapter. We were nervous and did not want to lose money, but we never looked back. The conference continues to improve. Congratulations to the leadership and staff of FCAAP for another terrific year. Next year is the big tenth anniversary of the conference. As has been our tradition, we dedicate the Fall Edition of the Journal to our Annual Conference. Mark your calendars for the next year’s conference during the Labor Day weekend.

This year we also had an in person Annual Conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics for the first time since 2019 and it was a major success. The conference was great and it was so wonderful to see so many friends and colleagues in person. Next year NCE is in DC.

There is a lot going on since I last wrote. We now have Monkeypox, another emerging and re-emerging infection. Fortunately, few children have been infected in the US and the disease in children appears to be not to as severe. We are still seeing cases and the outbreak is ongoing. There is also a vaccine available for those eligible by age and exposure. In addition, an antiviral called tecovirimat is available under a research IND from the CDC to treat monkeypox. Monkeypox spreads by direct contact and therefore does not spread as easily as COVID.

Speaking of COVID, please continue to encourage your patients to get vaccinate and, for those eligible, to get boosters. The vaccine is safe and effective despite the pseudoscience misinformation being promoted by some to suggest that the vaccine has dangerous side effects.

Speaking of vaccines, please encourage everyone eligible to get influenza vaccine. There is a chance that this year’s influenza season is going to be a bad one. This based on information from the Southern hemisphere, which had a horrible influenza season. Therefore, there is a good chance that there will be an equally terrible influenza season in the Northern hemisphere. The numbers are already starting to rise.

We are already seeing an RSV season the likes of which we have not seen for many years. Like the rest of the country, Florida hospitals are full of patients with RSV. In addition, we are seeing a large number of children with Rhinovirus infection admitted to hospitals. With hospitals full of patients with RSV and Rhinovirus, an increasing number of cases of influenza, and the possibility of a resurgent COVID in the winter, we may be heading towards a perfect storm, a “Quademic.”

Finally, a reminder that starting January 1, 2023, Florida state law requires Cytomegalovirus (CMV) testing for all newborns who fail hearing screens. Please work with your hospitals to establish processes for testing newborns for CMV when necessary. The FCAAP Emerging Infections Task Force is developing an algorithm to assist in this effort.