Baby Healthy a Year After Being Born with COVID-19

Baby born with COVID_Lupe Zapata_Spectrum News 1
Wendy Figueroa and daughter Alexa Figueroa watch baby nursery rhyme videos on a cell phone. | Image by Lupe Zapata, Spectrum News 1

Alexa Figueroa was born seven weeks early in 2020. Her mother, Wendy Figueroa, had COVID-19 when she went into labor. Alexa immediately tested positive after birth. This is one of the very few documented cases from around the world. Transmission between a pregnant woman and her child is very uncommon.

“The number of pregnant women who become ill enough with COVID-19 to require hospitalization is also higher than anticipated,” Dr. John Thoppil said. He is president of the Texas Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists who was not a part of the case but studied it along with the rest of the instances around the world.

The doctors who delivered Alexa stated that she did not show immediate signs of illness, but 24-48 hours later, displayed a fever and mild breathing problems. She was then hospitalized for three weeks.

Her mother was unable to hold her child when she was born and recalled, “Truthfully, I would cry because I could not see my little girl.” Wendy Figueroa continued, “I had my baby, and from far away they showed her to me.”

A little over a year later and Alexa Figueroa is a healthy 1-year-old. “Luckily, what we are seeing until now, both short term and long term, is that these babies do well,” said Parkland Hospital neonatologist Dr. Mambarambath Jaleel.

Parkland Hospital, where Alexa was delivered and treated, has learned that the chances of transmitting COVID-19 from mother to child is around 3%. Twenty COVID-19 positive babies were born at Parkland Hospital. All of them made a full recovery.

The only child they treated that became infected through the placenta was Alexa Figueroa. And so far, she is proof that there does not seem to be any long-term symptoms in babies born with COVID-19.

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