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The present article provides an overview of the key messages of the topics discussed at the '7th Workshop on Paediatric Virology', which was organised virtually on December 20, 2021 by the Institute of Paediatric Virology, located on the Island of Euboea in Greece. The workshop's plenary lectures were on: i) viral pandemics and epidemics in the ancient Mediterranean; ii) the impact of obesity on the outcome of viral infections in children and adolescents; and iii) COVID-19 and artificial intelligence. Despite the scarcity of evidence from fossils and remnants, viruses have been recognised as significant causes of several epidemics in the ancient Mediterranean. Paediatric obesity, a modifiable critical health risk factor, has been shown to impact on the development, progression and severity of viral infections. Thus, the prevention of paediatric obesity should be included in formulating public health policies and decision-making strategies against emerging global viral threats. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, artificial intelligence has been used to facilitate the identification, monitoring and prevention of SARS-CoV-2. In the future, it will play a fundamental role in the surveillance of epidemic-prone infectious diseases, in the repurposing of older therapies and in the design of novel therapeutic agents against viral infections. The collaboration between different medical specialties and other diverse scientific fields, including archaeology, history, epidemiology, nutritional technologies, mathematics, computer technology, engineering, medical law and ethics is essential for the successful management of paediatric viral infections. The current COVID-19 pandemic has underscored this need, which should be further encouraged in modern medical education.

Original publication




Journal article


Med Int (Lond)

Publication Date





Institute of Paediatric Virology, ancient Mediterranean, artificial intelligence, coronavirus disease 2019, obesity, paediatric virology, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, viral infections, viral pandemics