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A South Carolina mom is speaking out on COVID-19 after her 7-month-old son tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Last week, Courtney Doster took her youngest child, Emmett, to an urgent care clinic in the city of Elgin after he woke with a fever, a common sign of the illness. Doster’s mother had previously tested positive, leading the mom to worry her son was also infected.
“He woke up from a nap running a fever so we were going to wait it out and see, but my mom tested positive for the virus as well,” Doster told local news station WACH, noting her son’s fever was 104 degrees Fahrenheit at one point.
After a test for COVID-19 confirmed her suspicions, Doster took to Facebook with a plea: Stay home.
“COVID19 isn’t a joke,” she began the post, which had some 19,000 reactions and more than 44,000 shares as of this writing. “This isn’t time to go out and have play dates, or go to Walmart, or go out to eat. Stay home people please! Nothing worse than your 7-month-old running 104 fever, being poked and prodded over and over, and then being told he’s positive.”
“He has pneumonia which is the most severe form of this virus. Please read and learn facts…the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] among other medical sites have tons of info!”
Doster told WACH no one else in her family — including her two other children, a 4- and a 2-year-old — are showing signs of the illness at this time. However, the family is now under a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The news comes after a new study published in the journal Pediatrics revealed that babies and preschoolers are at particularly high risk for developing serious symptoms when infected with the coronavirus. Although the percentage of severe cases in children are very small – nearly 6 percent of the 2,143 cases of children under 18 years old that were reviewed – those who developed serious illnesses experienced dire respiratory problems.
Researchers remain puzzled by why children are less affected by the virus than adults — especially since children are typically among the most vulnerable when it comes to seasonal illnesses like the flu or other coronaviruses. But one pediatrician who previously spoke to Fox News said it could be their frequent exposure to these seasonal illnesses that may be protecting them from COVID-19.
“No one is certain why this is happening, but the likely reason is that every winter season there are several non-COVID-19 coronaviruses circulating that children are highly prone to catching,” Dr. Peter Jung, a pediatrician, said. “Their frequent exposure to these other coronaviruses likely offers them some level of immunity that adults may not have. There are probably other contributing factors but this is likely the biggest one.”
Courtney Doster did not immediately return a request for additional comment.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran and Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.