An Italian-led project to study the impact of the coronavirus on children
The project CORONA: children and COVID-19 has kicked off. Supported by the UniCredit Foundation and led by the Penta Foundation of Padua and the One Health Center of the University of Florida, the study aims to provide the national and international scientific community with new data on the impact of the pandemic on children - from a Circular Health perspective.
Over a year since the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there is still no clear picture of children's risk in developing symptoms, their role in transmitting the virus to adults and the long-term effects of the restrictive measures on children.
The CORONA project aims to contribute to the global scientific effort by collecting epidemiological and clinical data on children. Data collected will be used to check how often children contract the virus, as well as the way in which the disease manifests itself, develops and interacts with other diseases that may already be in progress.
The researchers also aim to identify the factors that predispose children to develop COVID-19, and how likely they are to develop it in a severe form. These data will help health authorities to plan future vaccination campaigns and, when a cure for children under 16 becomes available, to enable targeted and effective interventions.
One year after the first lockdown in Europe, the study looks to describe the psychological effects of the restrictive measures and the social distancing put in place to limit the spread of the virus on children and adolescents.
"Thanks to this project, it will be possible to study the impact of COVID-19 on children, both as a direct effect of the virus but also for the effects on the psyche and on social life. We cannot continue to think in watertight compartments, but we must understand the ramifications of the pandemic event in their complexity ".
Ilaria Capua, Director of One Health Center.
In short, this is a study that promises to shed light on the impact of the coronavirus on the psycho-physical well-being of children.
The project will draw from the thirty-year scientific expertise of Penta - an international network for medical research in the paediatric field, chaired by Prof. Carlo Giaquinto; and the One Health Centre - the interdisciplinary research center, directed by Prof. Ilaria Capua.
"We are proud to be working with Ilaria Capua and her center of excellence in the United States and even more grateful to the UniCredit Foundation for believing in the value of this extraordinary collaboration, which will help us put children at the center of clinical research on COVID-19. As a scientific community, we have a duty to protect and support minors in this pandemic".
Carlo Giaquinto, President of the Penta Foundation.
"It is an honor for us to support the Penta Foundation of Padua and the One Health Center of the University of Florida in this important study on the pandemic impact on children. This is testament of our continued commitment to support children through the solidarity activities of UniCredit Foundation. In this last year, they have been particularly affected by COVID-19, especially as a result of the restrictions that have limited their possibility to interact, socialise and learn".
Maurizio Beretta, Chairman of the UniCredit Foundation.
The Penta Foundation will mobilize its infectious disease experts in three different European countries - that is researchers working in the United Kingdom at University College London, in Madrid at the Research Institute of the 12 de Octubre Hospital, and the Department of Women's and Child Health at the Hospital of Padua.