A newborn recovered from the Omicron variant of Covid-19 after five days of medical treatment in the Neonatal ICU (NICU) at a city hospital. Doctors said lack of precautionary measures led the baby to contract the infection around the 15th day after birth. While the parents thought that their child had a slight cold and ignored the early symptoms, the baby’s health deteriorated after two days and had to be admitted to the hospital with breathing problems.
Doctors said a small percentage of newborn babies develop pneumonia, fast breathing and low levels of oxygen saturation. In infants, it is important to watch out for these signs.
Dr Kaustubh Shah, paediatrician and neonatologist at Apex Hospital in Mulund, said that the baby was in a critical condition and his lungs were infected. He was therefore kept under observation in the NICU for 48 hours.
Prior to admission to the hospital, the baby was being administered treatment from a local doctor for a runny nose. “The rapid antigen test of the baby was negative as he was admitted to the hospital after four days of initial symptoms. While he was responding well to the treatment, we were not able to come to a concluding diagnosis. His IgM tested positive. A positive IgM test indicates that the person has been recently infected,” he said.
Dr Shah further said that though there wasn’t any recent history of parents or immediate relatives having Covid symptoms, they later learnt that the family had conducted a small function at the house where many guests had arrived to bless the newborn.
Dr Shah said, “There might be a possibility that guests didn’t follow Covid norms and there might have been a silent carrier who was asymptomatic through whom the newborn got infected. However the baby responded well to the treatment and was stable on the sixth day of admission and was discharged from the hospital.” Experts said Omicron can be more lethal for children as this variant primarily affects the upper respiratory tract and children have higher respiratory rates than adults, making them more susceptible to agents in the air. This situation can be of concern, but not more lethal than adults, experts have said.