Coronavirus cases are currently spiking in several states across the country, including Texas — and the numbers are not just spiking within the older population. In one Texas county, 85 infants have tested positive since mid-March, and a recent spike in their county has officials urging people to follow CDC guidelines for protecting themselves and others, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
Nueces County Has the Fastest Growth of Any Metropolitan County in the State
Nueces County, the home to Corpus Christi, Texas, has recently had a huge spike in COVID-19 cases.
“Nueces County has the fastest growth in new cases on the seven-day average than any other metropolitan county in the state,” Peter Zanoni, the Corpus Christi city manager, told CNN. “You can see the trend line is relatively flat until July, and this is where we have had that huge spike in cases, and this is why it’s turned into a major problem for Nueces County.”
However, the 85 cases of children under the age of 1 testing positive is not a recent spike but an overall number since the outbreak began. Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales wanted people to know that the spokesperson for the county was using the statistic to illustrate that the virus doesn’t only affect the older population.
“For context, the spokesperson was using that statistic to illustrate that no one is naturally immune to this virus,” she said. “However, without this context, stating this number during our press conference led many to believe that we had a sudden surge in infants under the age of one testing positive. We have NOT had a sudden surge of 85 infants testing positive.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, while children in general “typically don’t become as sick as adults,” children under the age of 1 (infants) are “at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19” due to “their immature immune systems and smaller airways, which make them more likely to develop breathing issues with respiratory virus infections.”
There Has Only Been One Infant Death
Canales said they have only had one child under the age of 1 die in this time period from what they believe was COVID-19, but an autopsy is going to be performed to know for sure. The child tested positive for coronavirus and then later died at home.
Altogether, Corpus Christi has had over 8000 cases of COVID-19 and 82 deaths linked to the virus. In the state as a whole, there have been over 325,000 reported cases, with nearly 4000 fatalities, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
State representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Joaquin Castro have implored Texas Governor Greg Abbot to let municipalities issue stay-at-home orders to combat the virus.
“Texas is now not where it should be relating to fighting Covid-19. Therefore, your office should take immediate action to rewind the efforts to reopen the state quickly; which came about by ignoring CDC guidelines,” the letter to the governor said. “We need to provide local authority to local counties and cities to do what is in the best interest of their communities.”