Coronavirus in Babies: Is There A Worry?
Awareness about the disease and right measures will ensure that you and your family are safe from its effects.
Editor’s note: As of 6 Feb at 10 pm, the total number of 30 confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection in Singapore is at 30. The Ministry of Health confirmed two more cases on Thursday evening with one who did not travel to China recently and does not seem to be linked to previous cases. The other case is linked to a conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Singapore in January. The announcement followed the confirmation of four additional cases on Wednesday which include case 28, the 6-month-old Singaporean baby who is the son of an infected couple.
The rising cases of the latest coronavirus, also known as the Wuhan Virus, has created panic among many people. Most cases reported, though, are adults. Very few cases of children have come forward, including the latest Wuhan new-born. Parents don’t need to worry about coronavirus in babies if they maintain hygiene and follow basic rules strictly.
Coronavirus: Who Is At Risk?
Human coronavirus is a family of viruses that affect humans at various times. Some strains can cause serious damage such as the SARS and the MERS. The latest epidemic is identified as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It spreads like other respiratory diseases; similar to cold-causing viruses.
People with low immunity are at risk, especially, pregnant women, older people, patients with coronary diseases, etc. Though children are listed as high risk, very few cases show coronavirus in babies. However, some of the latest coronavirus cases confirmed in the world are infants.
A newborn baby in China was born to a virus-stricken mum and was diagnosed just 30 hours after birth. In Singapore, a 6-month-old baby boy also contracted the virus and became case 28 here. He is the son of a couple who earlier tested positive of the novel coronavirus.
There are various assumptions for fewer cases of coronavirus in babies. It could be that for some unexplained reason, the immune system of children is better equipped to fight the disease. The other assumption is that parents are more protective of their kids’ hygiene. Also, they are getting less exposure to carriers of the disease.
Awareness among parents about the disease, its symptoms and precautions seem to play a very important role in curbing the spread of coronavirus in babies. So let’s recap some valuable information to help you protect your kids:
Symptoms of Coronavirus
Common symptoms of coronavirus are the same as rhinovirus or flu. Upper respiratory infections like runny nose, sore throat, coughing and fever are the usual symptoms. It becomes serious if the infection spreads to lower respiratory tract – windpipe and lungs. This may lead to complications like pneumonia.
Reducing Risk of Coronavirus
There are a few things you can do to protect your family. Symptoms, as well as the method of spreading of coronavirus, seem to be the same as flu. Therefore, similar precautions are likely to work.
- Boost hand-washing habits. Use soap and water for 20 seconds and as often as possible.
- Avoid direct exposure to sneezing and coughing, and cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- Forbid touching eyes, nose and mouth unnecessarily.
- Clean and disinfect household items and surfaces.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser to help keep their hands clean.
- Visit the doctor when feeling unwell.