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40-day-old infant returns home from hospital after fighting 23-day battle against COVID-19

A 40-day-old infant fought against COVID-19 and was discharged from the hospital after 23 days of long battle. This is the youngest COVID case recovered in the country. On Thursday (August 20), the baby was given a grand farewell by the staff of the hospital.

40 day old infant returns home from hospital after fighting 23 day battle against COVID-19-dbr
West Bengal, First Published Aug 21, 2020, 3:50 PM IST
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Kolkata: The infant was only 40 days old when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in his lungs. The baby fought tooth-and-nail for more than three weeks, surviving eight days on mechanical ventilation, to finally defeat the virus. After 23 days of long battle, the baby was discharged from the hospital. The Institute of Child Health (ICH) has treated the youngest COVID-19 patient in the country. The baby struggled for 7 days continuously in ventilation, and finally won the battle against COVID-19. By far, this is the most miraculous incident, claim the doctors at the children’s hospital

The child had been suffering from fever since July 20. The family members notice that there were rapid convulsions taking place in the body of the baby. The child was constantly crying due to its breathing problem. His parents initially thought it was a common fever. A week later, on July 26, the parents from East Medinipur brought the baby to the children’s hospital at Park Circus. Admitted under neonatologist Kheya Ghosh Uttam in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), doctors suspected it to be a case of COVID infection.

According to the initial X-ray report, pneumonia was present in the chest of the baby. The fever was there in the body due to pneumonia. Oxygen saturation dropped to 80. The baby underwent COVID-19 test on July 29. Doctors were surprised to see the report. The baby tested COVID positive. Dr Kheya Ghosh Uttam and Dr Prabhas Prasun Giri's team started working jointly on this case. The doctors were not relieved even after putting the child on a ventilator. Oxygen saturation in the body still did not increase.

Since the hospital did not have the facility to treat COVID patients, it was initially decided to shift the baby to Medical College Hospital which has a dedicated paediatric COVID ward. A bed was even arranged at MCH by Swasthya Bhawan officials. But ICH doctors did not want to take the risk of shifting the already critical child and decided to treat the patient themselves. The child's mother Debashree Maiti also insisted on keeping his baby in ICH hospital.

The doctors had to keep the infant in one of the two ICU beds in the isolation ward for suspected COVID patients. With supportive medication, the child’s condition began to improve, and the doctors were able to pull him off the ventilator on the ninth day.

There was only one question that worried the doctors. The parents of the baby tested COVID negative. The doctors were not able to figure out how the baby was infected with COVID if his parents tested negative. Doctors initially suspected that the virus had entered the baby's body from the nursing home he was born.

Doctor Prabhas Prasun Giri said, “It may happen that the parents of the child were highly immune. Therefore, the virus left their body. But due to low immunity, the virus has entered the body of the child.”The baby was transferred from the neonatal intensive care unit to the paediatric intensive care unit. The baby was in the ICU for seven consecutive days. Finally, on August 19, the child’s report showed he tested negative. After fighting against COVID for 23 days, the baby is now completely healthy, as per doctors.

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