What did COVID-19 do to the organization of Italian rheumatology? The examples of Luigi Sacco University Hospital and the Local Health district of ATS Sardegna: the two faces of the same coin



Leading scientists and influential professional societies have been warning of the dangers of emerging infections and the threat of a global pandemic for years, but nobody imagined that the new decade would open with the most significant global public health challenge of our lives. The emergence and subsequent spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has surpassed many of our expectations as the evolving global public health and economic crisis continues to change our personal and professional lives. Although the disease started in China in December 2019, as of 27 March 2020 it had rapidly affected more than half a million people in 176 countries, and these numbers are bound to increase further. A significant proportion of adult patients require hospitalization and may develop life-threatening complications whereas children do not usually develop serious disease but they can transmit the virus. This suggests that age and host-specific environmental factors seem to affect the containment and clearance of the virus, as well as inflammation-related tissue and organ damage...