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3-week-old Houston baby with coronavirus recovers after 9 days in pediatric ICU

FILE PHOTO: A Houston-area infant is recovering for coronavirus after spending nine days at a local hospital.
FILE PHOTO: A Houston-area infant is recovering for coronavirus after spending nine days at a local hospital.

HOUSTON – A Houston-area infant has recovered from coronavirus after spending nine days at a local hospital. The baby’s treatment represents one of the few confirmed COVID-19 cases dealing with children in critical condition.

The doctors at The University of Texas Health Science Center administered life-saving treatment to the 3-week-old baby, according to an April 22 report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The baby boy, born four weeks premature, was experiencing nasal congestion and rapid breathing and was taken to a Houston emergency room.

Doctors transferred the baby to a pediatric intensive care unit, where doctors discovered the baby had low blood pressure, a high pulse, and hypothermia.

The baby was transferred to a negative-pressure room in the pediatric intensive care unit, intubated, and placed on a ventilator for five days.

Through a nasal swab, doctors tested the baby for COVID-19. X-rays on the child’s lungs also showed “partial collapse of the right upper lobe,” according to the report.

Tests confirmed that the baby had COVID-19.

"We thought the child was sicker than the normal child we see. On top of what appeared to be COVID-19, the child also tested positive for the virus that causes the common cold," said Dr. Alvaro Coronado Munoz, assistant professor of pediatric critical care medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

The baby was put on a five-day treatment of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.

After nine days, UTHealth doctors discharged the baby without supplemental oxygen.

"Although children are less likely than adults to have severe COVID-19, this case illustrates that it can occur and can be successfully managed with standard PICU protocols," the author of the study wrote.

A member of the baby’s 8-person household had experienced coronavirus-like symptoms, but no one, other than the baby, was ever tested, according to the report.


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