The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that the youngest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines is a 29-day-old infant from Batangas
“Ang pinakabata pong pumanaw dahil sa COVID-19 ay isang 29-day-old mula sa Batangas,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised DOH briefing on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Vergeire revealed that the baby boy was brought to the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath. Doctors then diagnosed him to have contracted pneumonia.
The infant’s cause of death was the late onset of sepsis due to severe respiratory infection. Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to infection gets out of hand, causing infection of the blood and damages multiple organ systems and death.
Vergeire did not disclose more information about the infant’s death due to privacy laws.
Studies have shown that kids, when infected by COVID-19, show mild to no symptoms at all. Newborns, however, are more susceptible to the disease, along with the elderly and individuals with weak immune systems and underlying conditions. It means that their conditions are more likely to reach critical condition when infected.
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But the fast-spreading new respiratory disease does not discriminate by age, sex, race, or income bracket. Anyone can get infected and potentially die from COVID-19, even healthy kids and teenagers.
Before the baby’s death, the Philippines’ youngest fatality due to COVID-19 was a 7-year-old girl from Pangasinan. Her cause of death was hypovolemic shock caused by acute gastroenteritis, severe dehydration, and pediatric community-acquired pneumonia. Her test results came out five days after her death.
As of Wednesday, April 15, 2020, the Philippines has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia at 5,223, with 295 recoveries and 335 deaths. While the country’s recoveries have picked up, the casualties remain higher than those who have overcome the disease.