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India: baby born at 28 weeks becomes country’s youngest COVID-19 survivor

A baby born in India at just 28 weeks gestation has become the country’s youngest COVID-19 survivor.

The unnamed baby was born in Yashoda Hospital in Hyderabad, South East India in April this year. He was born almost three months before the pregnancy had reached full term. Within a few days of his birth, his oxygen levels had begun to drop and he was found to be COVID-19 positive.

He had to be put on a ventilator for several days and received other treatment. Severely premature babies are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and he had to fight the virus for 30 days before he was able to go home.

Whilst his own mother had COVID, Dr C Aparna, a neonatologist involved in the case, said there is no evidence that the disease was transmitted from mother to son through the placenta, as it was only after a few days that the child developed COVID-19 symptoms and tested positive for the virus.

Although his parents were unable to see him due to the pandemic-related restrictions, the baby managed to gain weight as he fought the infection. After thirty days, he was discharged to his parents’ care at home weighing 1.5kg.

Dr Aparna said: “Our team… has been working tirelessly for high-risk mothers and high-risk preterm newborns including those affected with COVID to provide world-class services with compassion and human touch”.

The boy’s parents were updated about their son’s condition by video call throughout the process.

Premature UK baby survives COVID-19

In the UK, prematurely born baby, Theo Stobbs, was born in Burnley, Lancashire at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, and tested positive for the disease.

Born at only 27 weeks and weighing 2lb 4oz – “less than a standard supermarket pineapple” – Theo was found to have COVID-19. Images of him wearing a white nappy and a tiny woolly hat as he was lifted out of an incubator at just four weeks old went viral.

Fortunately, he and his mother both recovered.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “Fortunately, deaths from the virus are practically non-existent for newborn children and these heartwarming stories of severely premature babies surviving COVID-19 reminds us of the preciousness of life regardless of age”.

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