Experts to Review the Biological Impact of COVID-19 Across Every Age Group

Since its nascence in 2020, SARS-CoV-2 has proved to be virulent for every age group, and providers have worked tirelessly to tailor treatment plans in response. By beginning to understand the airway immune responses to the virus and comparing that to other viruses, discoveries have begun to be unearthed. These discoveries are the focus of a Tuesday, May 23, session at the ATS 2023 International Conference.

Lael Yonker, MD
Lael Yonker, MD

Biological Impact of COVID-19 Across the Lifespan will be held from 2:15–3:45 p.m. ET in Marquis Ballroom Salon 5 (Level M2) of the Marriott Marquis Washington.

“We’re going to talk about COVID and what we’ve learned from COVID over the past few years,” said Lael Yonker, MD, co-chair of the session. This includes delving into a large swath of the patient population, including pregnant women, newborns, and young children. “So, we really hope to cast a wide net, but also highlight the most interesting and compelling things that we’ve learned thus far.”

Dr. Yonker is a prominent cystic fibrosis clinician and researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital who took an interest in how COVID-19 affects pediatric patients and has been leading a pediatric COVID-19 repository at MGH since 2020. She recognizes there may be some fatigue in hearing about COVID-19 but urges providers to continue to bring awareness about this disease.

“COVID is around. I think we definitely will see oscillations in case numbers over time. And I think there are still lots of unanswered questions,” she said. “We’re hoping to be able to raise some of those questions and ideas for people to think about.”

Featured presentations in the Tuesday session include:

  • Passive Immunity in Neonates, Andrea Edlow, MD, MSc, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Airway Responses to SARS-CoV-2, Marcus A. Mall, MD, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • Hematologic Markers of Severe COVID-19 and MISC, Oluwakemi Badaki-Makun, MD, CM, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • Long COVID-19, Sharon A. McGrath-Morrow, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Each presenter represents the forefront of COVID-19 care across their respective specialties and has a unique grasp on how to spot and treat the disease — from its initial presentation to its long-term effects, Dr. Yonker said. Attendees will learn about the treatments used, the durability of passive immunity in newborns, the presentation of long COVID in children, and the latest pathogenicity research.

With the goal to cover a large portion of the COVID-19 landscape, Dr. Yonker said adult and pediatric providers and researchers would benefit from attending the session.

“Our goal is to not only review what we’ve been learning, but also highlight areas of interest and areas of need,” she said.

By looking at COVID-19 through this lens, there is hope that there will be understanding of how the disease affects the pulmonary system similar to the understanding of other viruses, like flu or RSV, Dr. Yonker explained. She said focusing on topics like passive immunity may offer a hint at how to better prevent COVID infections moving forward.

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Don’t forget that ATS 2024 Highlights: On Demand are available to all conference registrants! On Demand will give you access to the Opening Ceremony, Plenary Session, Keynote Series, Clinical Year in Review, Adult Clinical Core Curriculum, and so much more. The topics will cover ILD, asthma, health equity, and CF, to name just a few. On Demand content will be accessible to all ATS 2024 full conference and On Demand registrants until March 2025.