3-Week-Old Baby in New York Becomes Youngest COVID-19 Patient in America

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Newborn held by mother
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To date, more than 79,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the US, leading to over 1,000 deaths. The data out of China initially led us to believe that the vast majority of critical cases only occurred in the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions. But in this country, it's starting to look like that may have been an anomaly. In fact, in recent days, the number of Americans younger than 50 suffering from the respiratory disease has grown alarming. Now, a 3-week-old infant has reportedly been diagnosed in New York -- the youngest known American to test positive for COVID-19 so far.

  • The baby was treated at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, out on Long Island, according to Fox News.

    Luckily, after several days of treatment, the baby was released and is recuperating at home.

    The news is no doubt a relief for the newborn's family, which has not been named publicly, as well as parents of babies and young children everywhere, who may worry about their children contracting the virus.

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  • That said, experts say the case serves as a reminder that even children are not "immune" to the highly contagious disease.

    That certainly had been the message many of us were hearing for weeks, as the threat of the coronavirus, which started in Wuhan, China, began to spread to almost every country throughout the world. 

    Only the elderly and immunocompromised would be at risk, we kept hearing. And yet, doctors on the frontlines are starting to say that's not the case.

    In New York City, the nation's epicenter for the virus, 1 in 4 patients who remain hospitalized for the illness (roughly 1,160) are younger than 50. Although it is true that people older than 65 seem more likely to succumb to the illness, the young are not completely immune, The City reported.

  • A 12-year-old is battling for her life in Atlanta after recently being diagnosed with the virus.

    The tween, identified only as Emma, is reportedly being treated at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Hospital.

    "The patient remains in isolation, and we have consistently used appropriate precautions," Jessica Pope, a spokeswoman for the hospital, told CNN. "Additional details will not be released due to patient privacy laws."

    Seven-month-old Emmett Doster of South Carolina is also suffering from the illness. Much like the 3-week-old New Yorker, he was allowed to recuperate at home and his condition has not worsened.

    “He woke up from a nap running a fever so we were going to play it out and see," his mom. Courtney Doster, recently told WGN 9. "But my mom tested positive for the virus as well."

    Earlier this week, a 17-year-old in California reportedly succumbed to the illness, though CNN has reported his death is under review, as his case was "complex."

    However, there have been several confirmed COVID-19 deaths of others younger than 50 -- such as 36-year-old Dezann Romain, a school principal from Brooklyn, and 39-year-old Natasha Ott.

    In Wuhan, China, the youngest known coronavirus patient was just 30 hours old.

  • A BuzzFeed News report also suggests that more people are dying of COVID-19 in the US than we know.

    In a special feature Wednesday, several ER doctors told the outlet that the death tolls they're seeing reported in media outlets feel inconsistent with what they’re seeing in their own hospitals.

    An ER doctor from California, who asked to remain anonymous, told BuzzFeed News that “those medical records aren't being audited by anyone at the state and local level currently and some people aren’t even testing those people who are dead.”

    Because of a lag in reporting, the death toll may remain at odds with the truth for some time.

    “We just don't know," the doctor admitted. "The numbers are grossly underreported. I know for a fact that we’ve had three deaths in one county where only one is listed on the website."

  • For the time being, US residents are urged to stay at home, avoid contact with others, and only leave for essentials.

    In many states, residents have been advised to work from home, businesses other than grocery and liquor stores have closed up shop, and schools have been shuttered as students begin remote learning.

    "Social distancing" is the new norm -- and some say it's working, if we only hold tight.

    This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo cited the results of New Rochelle, New York, a Westchester County suburb that experienced the state's first cluster of cases. After declaring a 1-mile "containment area" and a citywide shutdown, cases seem to have slowed.

    "Can you slow the rate of infection?" Cuomo said during a press conference Wednesday. "Yes. How do you know? Look at what we did in Westchester."