14-day-old infant succumbs to COVID

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A 14-day-old infant is one of the latest fatalities of COVID-19 in Iloilo province.

Mayor Jaime Esmeralda of Igbaras, Iloilo confirmed the report on Saturday through his Facebook account.

As a matter of protocol, the boy was swabbed Friday night (August 13), after he was pronounced dead at the Rep. Pedro Trono Memorial Hospital in Guimbal town. The result came out the following day.

Esmeralda said that the mother gave birth July 30 in a hospital in San Joaquin, Iloilo. She had a normal delivery.

They were subsequently discharged with the reminder for them to comply with the 14-day isolation.

Eight days after, they returned to the hospital for a follow-up check-up. Nothing was found irregular with the infant boy.

The hospital instructed the mother, a resident of Barangay 5, to have the baby immunized with BCG or Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine.

They eventually had the vaccine on August 10 at the Rural Health Unit of Igbaras.

The midwife who administered the vaccine claimed that she did not notice anything irregular with the boy.

On Wednesday night, the mother said that the baby was poorly sucking during breastfeeding. She also noticed swelling and rashes in the area of the skin where the vaccine was injected.

They took the baby back to the RHU the next day and was given medications for allergy.

“On the night of that day, the baby became dyspneic and had episodes of cyanosis,” Esmeralda said.

This prompted the mother to bring the baby to the hospital upon the advice of the doctor.

On Thursday evening, the mother rushed the baby to Esmeralda, who is also a doctor.

“I wasn’t able to fully examine the infant because he doesn’t look good,” he said.

Esmeralda immediately called for an ambulance for the boy to be taken to a hospital in Guimbal but the boy did not survive.

“With this untoward event that happened, almost all RHU personnel were exposed of varying degrees – high and low risk contacts – to the mentioned patient,” he said.

They will be subjected to swab testing on Monday, August 16.

Esmeralda said that the incident might result in the:

* postponement of vaccination rollout;

* swabbing of almost all RHU personnel;

* all other health activities will be temporarily deferred; and

* some personnel with high risk contact are directed to undergo quarantine for 14 days.

Relatedly, Esmeralda said they also have a case of a pregnant patient who is also COVID-19 positive and was in labor on Saturday morning.

“The same RHU personnel have exposure to this patient, too. They will also undergo swabbing,” he said.

On Sunday, Esmeralda said the town recorded 12 cases.

Iloilo province recorded 247 cases on the same day.