Babies With COVID-19 Tend To Have Mild Illness, Mostly With Fever
Ever since the SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as the Coronavirus escaped the Wuhan city of China and spread into other countries gradually, life changed for billions of people in unprecedented ways. The deadly virus for which vaccine trials are underway has killed lakhs of people globally and several millions are infected. The virus which attacks the respiratory system in human body is especially harmful for the elderly lot though others are also at risk. Even newborn babies and infants are not in safe zone. Interestingly enough, the impact of Covid 19 on the affected persons can vary a lot, based on factors like their age group, gender and immune system. While the newborn babies and kids show fewer complications, it is important to know the risk factors nevertheless.
What the studies are showing?
A report published by Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, shows the infants below 90 days testing positive for COVID-19 may not show much symptoms. Such babies may actually look normal and no serious respiratory complications are seen in them. The findings of the report published in the coveted Journal of Pediatrics indicate the primary symptom of coronavirus in such babies is fever.
As of now, the available data on infants infected by SARS-CoV-2 is limited. The babies afflicted with Covid 19 exhibit mild illness and they may not face risk of severe diseases. Leena B. Mithal, the lead author said this is as per the reports obtained from China. A majority of the infected infants included in the study had fever. So, it can be assumed that the cause behind the fever was COVID-19. However, such infants need to be checked for bacterial infections too.
The study was however carried out on 18 infants and none of them had significant medical history. Almost half of these infected infants did not face respiratory issues. They mostly did not require any intensive care. The reason for admission of these infants was mostly clinical observation and observation of feeding tolerance. A section of these infants had gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. The GI symptoms were preceded by respiratory tract symptoms. Despite the mild clinical illness, the infants had high viral loads as exhibited in their nasal specimens.
Dr. Mithal said it can’t be said with confirmation if the young infants with fever testing positive for Covid 19 need hospitalization or not. The decision to get a person admitted is taken based on factors like feeding tolerance, clinical assessment, age and follow-up adequacy etc. There may be need of expedited SARS-CoV-2 testing to decide if infants with fever should be hospitalized or not.
Dr. Mithal and her colleagues observed a majority of infants with COVID-19 had Latin origin. She said the team actually anticipated an influx of cases with Latin roots. There can be a multitude of factors behind this, she said.
A lack of clear consensus
The fact that it is a new...