Baby's ‘cold' turns out to be deadly virus
A nine-month-old boy in the UK has contracted coronavirus, despite showing no symptoms of the deadly virus.
Myroslava and Callum Coates' baby Cassian was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Monday and the family are now self-isolating at their home in Manchester, northern England.
Ms Coates told Sky News UK Cassian had "been poorly" for a few days and they initially thought he had a chest infection.
But when they took him to the doctors they were taken to a special area for suspected coronavirus cases.
"We went in, then the doctor came in with a mask on, did some basic checks, temperature, checked his ears and said 'yeah, it's the coronavirus strand'," Ms Coates recalled.
"We weren't expecting that. Cassian had a fever and cold but not the cough and symptoms everyone was talking about.
The Coates family were stunned as while Cassian had a cold and fever he hadn't been coughing.
"He's nine months old so any time they have anything wrong with them it's horrific but this, we were like 'wow'," Ms Coates said.
"As bad as it sounds, the first thing we did when we heard was laugh because we just couldn't believe this was a thing and that Cass had it.
"We wondered where he caught it because my husband and I are both fine."
The couple were told by their GP that coronavirus cases in children were going to be common, as "babies pick up what's going around".
But were reassured that Cassian's case would likely not be serious and to give him baby paracetamol and self-isolate at home.
CAN CHILDREN GET CORONAVIRUS?
Not everything is known about coronavirus, however, data from the outbreak so far suggests that while children can get COVID-19 their cases are mild.
"It's very unusual compared to influenza," Australia's chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said earlier this month.
"We don't know whether children might be getting the disease but (their symptoms) are so mild they are not being picked up, or they're not becoming sick, or whether they are somehow less susceptible."
Out of the more than 200,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, the majority of children have had no serious complications.
However a recent study published online by the American Academy of Paediatrics has found that around six per cent of cases in children do get seriously ill, with babies and preschoolers the most at risk.
There has so far been one recorded death of a child due to coronavirus, with a teenager dying from the virus in China on February 7.
The study, which looked at 2143 children from Wuhan ranging in age from one day to 18 months old found that 90 per cent were asymptomatic, moderate or mild cases.
Researchers said it could be due to children having immune systems that were still developing and more antibodies because they commonly suffered seasonal respiratory illnesses.
"Why most of the children's COVID-19 cases were less severe than adults' cases is puzzling," the study's lead researcher, Professor Shilu Tong, wrote.
"This may be related to both exposure and host factors. Children were usually well cared for at home and might have relatively less opportunities to expose themselves to pathogens and/or sick patients.
"It is speculated that children were less sensitive to (coronavirus) because the maturity and function (e.g., binding ability) of ACE2 in children may be lower than that in adults.
"Additionally, children often experience respiratory infections in winter, and may have higher levels of antibody against virus than adults. Furthermore, children's immune system is still developing, and may respond to pathogens differently to adults."
While the virus isn't deadly in everyone, the current death toll stands at 8725.