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Babies “struggling for life in ICU”: hospitals see sudden spike in children affected by virus

Two babies are described as struggling for life on ventilators after contracting Covid-19 from their parents.

The condition of the infants, both under a year old and with underlying health conditions, is said to be “worrying doctors” at Lisbon’s Dona Estefânia children’s hospital – particularly as it is almost unheard of for children suffering from the virus to require ventilation.

Another major concern is the number of children that have recently been admitted.

Writes tabloid Correio da Manhã, “little more than a week ago there were only five children in hospital with Covid-19. On Wednesday, the number of admissions spiked to 19. Even so, none of the children’s conditions required special attention in intensive care”… until now.

The babies, both girls, have both been unable to breathe on their own since Friday.

Says CM, the average age of children currently interned at Dona Estefânia is 5.

Said a hospital source: “These are children with some associated illnesses who, when initially diagnosed were showing light symptoms. In other words, they were able to be treated perfectly well at home. But then the situation changed, and we prefer always to err on the side of caution”.

By midnight on Saturday, numbers being treated for the virus were down to 15, including the two babies in ICU.

CM adds there are currently 65 children who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Portugal, the majority of them recovering in regular contact with the authorities from home.

The ‘rare’ but worrying Kawasaki-type inflammatory syndrome associated with children hit by the virus has so far affected only one child in Portugal – and he has already been discharged from hospital and is continuing his recovery at home with his parents.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com