6-month-old Baby Among New Cases Of Coronavirus Confirmed In Singapore, Tally Now At 28

Nikki De Guzman

A six-month-old baby is the latest case of the Coronavirus infection in Singapore, as the Ministry of Health confirms 4 new cases on Wednesday, 5 February 2020.

The baby boy, a Singaporean, is the child of an infected couple. He was tested positive for 2019-nCoV infection on Wednesday (5 Feb), and is currently warded in an isolation room at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

coronavirus in babies

KK Women’s And Children’s Hospital | Source: Wikimedia Commons

The three of the four new cases are linked to the cluster of local transmission announced on Tuesday (4 Feb), and one is an imported case involving a Chinese tourist from Wuhan.

The MOH announced six confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday (4 Feb), which included four women here who had not travelled to Wuhan, the coronavirus outbreak’s ground zero.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases of the virus infection in Singapore to 28. 

Meanwhile, the MOH reiterated that there is no evidence of widespread community transmission in Singapore as yet, and that “the risk of infection
from transient contact, such as on public transport or in public places, is assessed to be low.”

Coronavirus in babies: Transmission In The Womb Maybe Possible, Says Doctors

The Singaporean baby is not the only infant confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus.

In China, a baby born to a mother who tested positive of the Novel Coronavirus was also diagnosed with the infection just 30 hours after birth.

Doctors in China are now fearing that the infection could be passed from pregnant women infected with the new coronavirus to their unborn child. This was according to doctors at the Wuhan Children Hospital,  as reported by state broadcaster CCTV.

A medical worker in a hazmat suit is looking after the baby, who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. | Image source: Handout, Wuhan Children’s Hospital/Weibo

After testing positive of the Wuhan virus, the baby was then transferred to the Wuhan Children’s Hospital, which has been appointed by the government to treat all infected children.

Doctors said the newborn has no fever or cough but was experiencing shortness of breath. Chest x-rays also showed signs of infection, as well as some abnormalities in the infant’s liver functions.

The baby’s condition was said to be stable and it was being closely monitored, the hospital announced through a post on its official social media account.

In addition, the hospital also confirmed another case of the new coronavirus in babies. Another 17-day-old baby, was born healthy on 13 January, was diagnosed with the coronavirus over two weeks later.

It was reported that the baby’s family hired a nanny to look after it on 22 Jan. The nanny was diagnosed with the disease shortly after, and the baby’s mother days later.

Medics are yet to confirm if the baby had caught the virus from its mother or its wet nurse.

“Whether it was the baby’s nanny who passed to the virus to the mother who passed it to the baby, we cannot be sure at the moment. But we can confirm that the baby was in close contact with patients infected with the new coronavirus, which says newborns can also be infected,” said Dr Zeng Lingkong, chief physician from the hospital’s Department of Neonatal Medicine at Wuhan Children Hospital.

Coronavirus in Singapore: Protect Your Family From The Wuhan Virus

As of Wednesday, the MOH said that the 295 suspected cases have tested negative for the virus so far. Test results for 62 more cases are pending.

It has also identified 379 close contacts of the confirmed cases—304 of which are still in Singapore. 299 have contacted and being quarantined or isolated while efforts are being made to contact the remaining five close contacts.

Members of the public are urged to observe good personal hygiene and adopt the following precautions:

  • Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and undercooked meats;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness;
  • Observe good personal hygiene;
  • Practice frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to the toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing); 
6-month-old Baby Among New Cases Of Coronavirus Confirmed In Singapore, Tally Now At 28
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately; and
  • Seek medical attention promptly if you are feeling unwell.
6-month-old Baby Among New Cases Of Coronavirus Confirmed In Singapore, Tally Now At 28

They have also advised to wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath, and seek medical attention promptly if you are feeling unwell.

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