Texas mom Wendy Figueroa cried for 20 nights straight as she waited for her newborn daughter to battle COVID-19 at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. It is believed baby was infected by the coronavirus while in the womb, one of the first reported cases of this kind of transmission to be recorded in the United States
According to USA Today, Figueroa was admitted to the hospital with fever and other symptoms and was tested positive for coronavirus April 30. Two days later her daughter Alexa was born and she, too, tested positive, after exhibiting a fever and mild respiratory disease, according to The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Infectious disease experts said the virus was detected in the mother's placenta which means the infant was infected before she was born.
Although Alexa was born prematurely and needed oxygen for a while, she recovered from the virus without any complications. However, Wendy had to spend 14 days at home in quarantine before she brought her baby home. She was elated to finally be able to cuddle her daughter and said she never expected her pregnancy to take this unprecedented turn.
While most children who test positive for COVID-19 have mild symptoms or none at all, a Chinese study found 10% of infants with a positive COVID-19 test became critically ill, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
According to the Mayo Clinic, infants are at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19 because of their immature immune systems and smaller airways, which makes them more likely to develop breathing issues with respiratory virus infections.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found pregnant women were five times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19, according to USA Today.
"That's why I want to tell everyone who is pregnant to take care of themselves," Figueroa said. "Try to take care as much as you can, because it's so difficult."
© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.