Coronavirus: Four-week-old Portsmouth baby recovering from confirmed case of Covid-19

A MOTHER has told how her four-week-old baby went limp in her arms after the infant contracted Covid-19 – but is now recovering.
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The 28-year-old work coach, who asked not to be named in The News, noticed her baby girl had developed the symptoms of a suspected cold on Friday, March 20 - but her condition worsened on March 22, leading to a hospital visit.

Now, thanks to support of NHS staff, the baby is due to make a full recovery.

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Her mother said: ‘She’s got blocked sinuses and a nasty head cold… but otherwise she’s likely to be recovered by Sunday (March 29).

‘We've got nasal spray and a nose sucker to get out any excess mucus.

‘I can’t thank QA, and their wonderful staff, enough. The NHS is truly a godsend.’

The Portsmouth-based mother has told how the ordeal happened.

She said: ‘(On March 20) she started to get a bit snuffly.

Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham.Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham.
Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham.
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‘Come Sunday we took her up to (Queen Alexandra Hospital) because she had got to the point where she had really become quite laboured with her breathing.

‘And the doctors (thought) it’s probably bronchiolitis.

'They took a swab and said “it's quite unlikely it's the virus, but we just want to be sure”.’

But less than 90 minutes after they returned from the hospital, the now five-week-old took a 'horrific' turn for the worse in the early hours of the morning of March 23.

People wearing masks in Commercial Road on March 20. Picture: Habibur RahmanPeople wearing masks in Commercial Road on March 20. Picture: Habibur Rahman
People wearing masks in Commercial Road on March 20. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The mother said: ‘As I was feeding her her lips went blue, her eyes rolled back in her head, and she went limp.

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‘I have experienced some pretty bad horrors in my life, but nothing has ever come close to this.

‘It's been horrific.’

Paramedics took the infant back to QA, where doctors discovered the baby had choked on her feed – because she was so congested due to her infection.

She was sent home and her family received a phone call on March 24 to reveal the swab had tested positive for Covid-19.

But the possibility of being caught up in a global pandemic had been far from the mind of the first-time mum when she gave birth on Sunday, February 23.

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She said: ‘There had been four reported cases (in Portsmouth) by that point.

‘My focus was on having a baby.

‘We took her home and were being very careful, following the guidance to the letter.

‘But she was fine - she was a very happy, healthy baby. That was how she started off.’

The family have no idea when the newborn contracted the potentially fatal virus.

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Her mum said: ‘I asked the doctor if it’s anything I have done, but there’s no way to know.

‘I had to go out for essentials the other day and I couldn’t leave her on her own, but I made sure she was protected. I stayed away from people as much as humanely possible.

‘People need to be extremely careful.'

According to the latest figures from Public Health England, within the Portsmouth area there are 64 cases of the infectious disease, which has killed a total of 31 people at QA hospital. There have been 41 diagnoses in Southampton, according to the data as of March 28.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS