Season’s greetings!

Contemporary PEDS Journal, December 2021, Volume 38, Issue 12

Dr. Tina Q. Tan shares the stories from the December 2021 issues of Contemporary Pediatrics that she considers must reads.

It is hard to believe that we are about to enter 2022. The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 continues to surge throughout the United States and other parts of the world, especially in unvaccinated populations. We have also seen the emergence of the Delta Plus variant, which has been found in at least 44 countries and 41 US states. This new substrain of the Delta variant contains an extra spike protein mutation that may make it easier for the virus to infect individuals because it binds more easily to lung epithelial cells. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are closely monitoring Delta Plus, along with the Mu and Lambda variants.

In November 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration granted a lower-dose Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization for children aged 5 to 11 years. This marks an exciting and important development because it allows us to provide protection against COVID-19 to a large population of children (28 million) who returned to in-person learning this past fall.

This month’s journal has a number of must-read articles, including the following:

  • An excellent review of the COVID-19 variants and other emerging infectious diseases of which the clinician should be aware. This article was cowritten by Rana F. Hamdy, MD, MPH, MSCE, a Contemporary Pediatrics® Editorial Advisory Board member.
  • A summary of recently licensed medications that are indicated for use in children. This list, found in our pediatric pharmacology section, includes treatments for attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder; pain medications including morphine oral solution, bupivacaine liposomal (Exparel) and diclofenac potassium (Zipsor) formulations; and treatment for Zaire ebolavirus (atoltivimab/maftivimab/odesivimab-ebgn [Inmazeb], a fixed-dose combination of 3 monoclonal antibodies).
  • An in-depth look at respiratory syncytial virus. This respiratory section report explores the possible causes of the recent surge in out-of-season cases.
  • A reminder of the importance of suspecting child abuse when physical exam findings and history do not make sense in the context of what is seen. In the case described in our dermatology section, an 18-month-old toddler presented with annular scars.

As always, thank you for providing outstanding care to your patients during these rapidly changing times. As C.S. Lewis stated, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” I wish everyone peace and happiness as the adventure continues in 2022.

Please stay safe and well. And as always, I welcome your suggestions, comments, and questions.

With warm regards,

Tina