Coronavirus pandemic

5-day-old baby dies of Covid-19 in South Sulawesi in Indonesia

Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx as adults.
Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx as adults.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA • A five-day-old baby has died of Covid-19 in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The baby's mother initially had a reactive rapid test result, which led to both of them taking swab tests that came back positive.

"The swab test results came back on Oct 13. The samples were examined by the laboratory of Wahidin Sudirohusodo Hospital, Makassar," said the head of disease prevention and control at Jeneponto Health Agency, Suryaningrat, last Saturday.

In June, a 40-day-old baby died in Pamekasan regency, East Java, after contracting Covid-19, believed to have been spread by neighbours who visited the newborn.

The baby, who tested positive for the virus when he was 28 days old, died in hospital after nearly two weeks of treatment. "Based on the contact tracing we carried out, the baby contracted Covid-19 from neighbours who visited him soon after he was born," Pamekasan regency Covid-19 task force chief Syaiful Hidayat said.

He said many visitors had held the baby. Soon after the visits, the baby showed symptoms of Covid-19, including a fever, coughing and laboured breathing.

The Indonesian Paediatric Society revealed in June that at least 1,543 children in Indonesia had tested positive for Covid-19 since the country announced its first coronavirus cases in March. Thirty-six of them died of the disease.

Meanwhile, 6,123 children have been categorised under PDP status, which refers to people who have Covid-19 symptoms but have not been tested for the virus. Of those children, 204 have died.

There are still many questions surrounding coronavirus infection in children and infants.

On its website, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it is unclear whether children are as susceptible to infection from Sars-CoV-2 as adults, and whether they can transmit the virus as effectively as adults.

Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx as adults, and they can spread the virus effectively in households, the CDC says.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2020, with the headline '5-day-old baby dies of Covid-19 in South Sulawesi in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe