Mum Shares Harrowing Tale Of Her 7-month-old Baby Getting Infected With COVID-19

Shabnam Muzammil

Coronavirus in babies? That’s a very scary thought.

Despite health authorities telling us that COVID-19 seems to affect young children less, the thought still sends a shiver down many a parent’s spine. Coronavirus in babies, even though not common, can happen. Anyone can contract this infection that is sweeping across the world in what the World Health Organization (WHO) now terms a global pandemic.

And one mom from South Carolina is now sharing her harrowing story of her 7-month-old son who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Coronavirus in babies

Fever started low and spiked high very fast 

In a Facebook post mother of three, Courtney Doster, warns other parents to watch out for their children and be alert of even the slightest change in normalcy. 

Her 7-month-old son Emmett tested positive for COVID-19 on March 17, after being taken to the hospital after his fever spiked to over 40 degrees celsius. 

coronavirus in babies

Coronavirus in babies: 7-month-old baby contracts COVID-19. Photo: Facebook screengrab

“Emmett started showing signs last Monday of a sickness,” Doster said, speaking to media. “He woke up from his nap and he was warm.”

She initially reported that he only had a mild fever, but that it spiked really high, really fast. 

“I checked his temperature and it was a low-grade fever, to begin with, and pretty quickly it started to climb to 39.4 degrees,” she said. “We got on the phone with his pediatrician and we finally got the call to go get tested for urgent care.”

He was then tested and swabbed for COVID-19, flu, and other respiratory illnesses. They also performed chest X-rays parallelly and confirmed pneumonia. 

They were then sent home to wait for the news, to which they were informed about the Positive COVID-19 results within 24 hours. 

Simultaneously, Emmett’s grandmother has also been diagnosed with COVID-19, and the family had been in close contact with her prior to receiving knowledge about the diagnosis.  

Coronavirus in babies: No other symptoms except 40-degree fever 

The mother notes that her baby did not present any other symptoms common in COVID-19 cases, apart from the fever. 

Image source: Facebook / Courtney Watts Doster

“He had no other signs of being sick,” she said. “He wasn’t whiny or fussy and that’s what is really scary — we didn’t even realize he was having these types of symptoms.”

The baby is now at home and is recovering from his illness. 

The family has two other children, ages 2 and 4, who have not shown any symptoms, but the mother remains concerned. The whole family is currently under quarantine and close observation, for 14 days. 

“We’re keeping an eye on everyone, checking their fevers, listening to them, making sure they show no signs of sicknesses,” the mother noted. “So far so good.”

She is reaching out to share her story in the hopes that parents everywhere will monitor their children more closely and seek immediate medical attention with even just a fever without any other symptoms. 

“It’s very scary — the unknowns, the what if’s — so we just want parents to take this seriously,” she notes.

She also advises parents to “keep your babies home” and to “keep a very close eye on your babies and their symptoms.”

 

What should parents do if they suspect their child has COVID-19

According to Dr Sean O’Leary, a paediatrician at Children’s Hospital Colorado who specializes in infectious diseases, COVID-19 is likely to present as either asymptomatic or be indistinguishable from a regular, common cold or influenza.

“This virus does seem to be able to cause significant disease in children but [is] not dramatically different from other typical, common childhood infections,” he notes. “There are some small percentages of children, based on what we’re seeing in other countries, that do get sick and require hospitalization, but that is really not much different, at least at this point than other typical respiratory viruses.”

He further noted that as in the case of COVID-19 studies so far, very little is known and the knowledge is evolving rapidly. 

In the event that your child displays even mild symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever coupled with respiratory symptoms such as a cough and sneezing, call your medical practitioner or nearest hospital first and seek clearance to bring them down for observations. 

If your child has tested positive for COVID-19, make sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize your home. “Just because one person in the house has [COVID-19], doesn’t mean that everyone will get it,” O’Leary stated. 

“We don’t know the extent that it contributes to transmission, but we know that this virus can live on lots of different sources for at least several hours,” he further noted. “So do a good job cleaning all high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and bathroom fixtures.”

Coronavirus in babies: What should parents do to keep your babies safe? 

Parents are urged to observe good personal hygiene and adopt the following precautions:

  • Practice social distancing, and avoid play dates, birthday parties, and going to large social gatherings or being present in crowded public spaces
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness
  • Observe good personal hygiene, including taking a shower after being outdoors and discarding previously worn clothes
  • Practice frequent hand washing with soap or an alcohol-based hand rub for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately
  • Regularly clean and disinfect your homes
  • Wash toys, especially stuffed animals, frequently
  •  Avoid touching your faces and advice your children to do the same; and most importantly 
  • Seek medical attention promptly if you are feeling unwell.

Also Read: Coronavirus in Babies: What Parents Need To Know

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