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More questions after 2 Collier County newborns test positive for coronavirus but few answers

Two babies in Collier County are confirmed to have COVID-19, and that’s concerning many about how to find a way to protect Southwest Florida’s youngest from the coronavirus. And how to help them heal if they do get the virus.

While data shows children are generally less impacted by the coronavirus, it isn’t the same for newborns.

A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics finds Chinese infants and toddlers were vulnerable to moderate and severe infections.

Robert Hawkes, the director of FGCU’s physician assistant program says, that’s because of their immune systems.

He says, “Their immune system certainly has not significantly developed, or adequately developed, to be able to help them combat COVID.”

But Hawkes says because the virus is so new, and there’s only a small number of infant cases so far, there isn’t a standard set of symptoms to watch out.

That’s why testing protocols are in place to help newborns.

“…If it’s a COVID positive mother is about to give birth – then they’ll use the standard precautions and use isolation,” Hawkes said, “and when the infant is born, they will generally test them at 24 hours and then 48-hours later to see if the infant has also tested positive for COVID.”

Kristine Hollingsworth, with the Department of Health Collier County, says, “But once you’re home, there is no infant specific guidance, except for keeping everyone in the household safe and healthy.”

She continues to recommend washing your hands often and for at least 20 seconds, and also limiting going out in public.

“Using FaceTime to meet and greet your little one is probably the best way to go about keeping a safe social distance and keeping your loved ones safe – for all ages.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics also has a few recommendations which includes social distancing and treating your baby’s symptoms.

 

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
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