Babies with Coronavirus may have only mild illness: Study

Mithal said, It is unclear whether young babies with fever and a positive test for COVID-19 require hospital admission.


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Babies with Coronavirus may have only mild illness: Study

Researchers have shown that infants under the age of 90 days who tested positive for Coronavirus tend to be well with little or no respiratory symptoms.

The study published in the journal of Pediatrics says fever was often found to be the primary or only symptom in new bown babies infected with the novel COVID-19.

While there is limited data on babies with Coronavirus from the USA, our research suggest that these babies mostly have mild illness and may not be at higher risk of disease as initially reported by China, said Leena Mithal study leader, from the Northwestern University in the United States.

Most of the babies in our research had fever, which suggests that for young babies being evaluated because of fever, Coronavirus may be an important cause in a region with widespread community activity, Mithal said.

However, she added that evaluation for bacterial infection in infants with fever remains important.

In the research, the researchers assessed 18 babies, none of them with any significant medical history. Of these 50 percent of these babies who were admitted to the hospital's general inpatient service, none of them required intensive care, oxygen or respiratory support.

Indications for admission were basically because of monitoring of feeding tolerance, clinical observation, and ruling out bacterial infection with empiric intravenous antibiotics in babies younger than 60 days.

Of the babies admitted to the hospital, six out of nine had gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, poor feeding and vomitting.

Researchers said upper respiratory tract symptoms of congestion and cough preceded onset of gastrointestinal symptoms.

Researchers said young babies also had notably high viral loads in their nasal specimens despite mild clinical illness.

Mithal said, It is unclear whether young babies with fever and a positive test for COVID-19 require hospital admission.

The decision to admit to the hospital is based on the age of the babies, need for preemptive treatment of bacterial infection, feeding tolerance, clinical assessment and adequacy of follow-up, she added.

Mithali believes that there may be opportunities to utilise rapid COVID-19 testing to determine disposition of clinically well babies with fever.

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