12-Yr-Old On Ventilator Fighting For Her Life After Contracting Coronavirus Is Now Doing Better

12-Yr-Old On Ventilator Fighting For Her Life After Contracting Coronavirus Is Now Doing Better

Although children don't seem to develop severe symptoms after contracting the Coronavirus as compared to adults and the elderly, here's a child fighting for her life.

Image Source: Getty Images/Siriwat Nakha/EyeEm (Representative)

03/26/2020, UPDATE: Emma is now doing better and is responding well to her parents. Doctors have declared that she is showing considerable improvement.

Data show that kids don't seem to contract the Coronavirus as much as adults do. Even if they do, children have not been developing severe symptoms, per reports from Chinese health officials. But here's a 12-year-old named Emma who is currently "fighting for her life" after testing positive for the novel Coronavirus. While speaking to CNN, Justin Anthony said that Emma was diagnosed with pneumonia on March 15 and on Friday night she tested positive for the dreaded COVID-19 virus. She had to be placed on a ventilator soon after and is currently in a stable condition. 



Emma contracted the virus despite having no pre-existing health conditions. Apparently, she also did not have any recent travel history so it is not yet known where she picked it up, Anthony told the outlet. The Children's Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Hospital has confirmed that a current patient has tested positive for COVID-19, however, they declined to go into any further details. "The patient remains in isolation, and we have consistently used appropriate precautions. Additional details will not be released due to patient privacy laws," said Jessica Pope, a spokeswoman for the hospital. 



The elderly and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk of severe health consequences (including death) if they contract the virus, said health experts. Although children have been contracting and thereby spreading COVID-19, they have been generally developing only mild symptoms of the illness. Of almost 45,000 positive cases in China through February 11, only one death was recorded in someone younger than 20, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Out of the 731 confirmed and 1414 suspected cases of the novel Coronavirus in children residing in China, one 14-year-old boy died. No deaths were noted among children under the age of 10, reports CNN. Nearly 6% of the cases were severe which was pretty less when compared to cases of adults experiencing severe symptoms, which was 18.5%, according to a new study which is yet to be published in the journal Pediatrics in June.



An epidemiologist at the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Arthur Reingold said that based on the numbers children do carry the Coronavirus but are not developing severe symptoms. "The evidence so far would suggest that children, at least in China, many children have gotten infected and have ... either had a very mild illness or not had any illness at all," said Dr. Reingold explaining that a similar pattern could be seen in other respiratory viruses that are easily transmitted among children and by children. 



There have been many cases in the United States, which is similar to other countries, where kids are getting sick but not developing serious conditions. A teenager in Georgia, a high school student in Washington, and an elementary school-age kid in California, and a three-year-old from Texas, all have tested positive for the virus. But Dr. Reingold said, "Children simply don't get very sick when they get this infection. So if they develop any symptoms at all, they're mild ... and so, severe illnesses and deaths, fortunately, are incredibly rare." 

But he warned that just because children are not likely to develop major symptoms doesn't mean that they won't contract the virus. "We have to assume that they can spread it. They're incredibly efficient at spreading other respiratory viruses like influenza. Of course, this is a different virus and it could be different," Dr. Reingold told CNN. "But we assume that children are extremely efficient at spreading respiratory viruses, including the new COVID-19." That being said, Emma quickly developed severe conditions due to the virus and now her family is urging others to take every possible measure to keep everyone on their family, including children, safe. "I know first hand how dangerous it is," said Anthony. "Everyone keeps saying 'it doesn't impact younger people.' But here's a 12-year-old fighting for her life. People need to practice social distancing. People need to take care of their children. People need to take this seriously." 


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