20-day-old infant could be world’s youngest COVID-19 victim

No member of his family has tested positive nor do they have travel history

May 02, 2020 10:52 pm | Updated 10:52 pm IST - JAIPUR

A 20-day-old infant, who died of complications relating to COVID-19 here on Friday, could be the world’s youngest victim of the disease. The boy was treated for septicaemia at the J.K. Lon Children’s Hospital, where the paediatricians ruled out intrauterine infection.

The infant was admitted to the hospital early on Friday with complaints of diarrhoea and vomiting. No member of his family was earlier detected as positive and nor did the family have a travel history.

After the brief treatment, the child died during the day. Since his condition was abnormal and his family resided in the curfew-bound Chandpole area of the Walled City where a large number of COVID-19 positive cases have been found, the hospital authorities sent his samples for viral test, which turned out to be positive on Saturday.

Medical Superintendent Ashok Gupta told The Hindu that the infection was postnatal, as neither his mother nor anyone else in the family was COVID-19 positive. “The baby may have been exposed to someone who was asymptomatic despite being infected with the virus,” he said.

Dr. Gupta said a research of the medical records had revealed that a 45-day-old child in Gujarat’s Jamnagar and a 42-day-old child in Connecticut, U.S., had died of the novel coronavirus infection last month. “This may be an instance of the death of the world’s youngest COVID-19 patient,” he said.

A high alert was sounded in the hospital after the child’s death and 10 members of his family were sent to the quarantine facility as a precautionary measure. The body, wrapped in protective medical covers, was taken to the Ghat Gate graveyard for burial on Saturday.

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