What the COVID-19 outbreak means for pregnant women and babies
TORONTO -- A Toronto emergency room doctor who assesses and tests patients for COVID-19 is sharing information about the virus in young people and advising families on how to adjust to life during the outbreak.
Dr. Tasleem Nimjee, the director of medical innovation at Humber River Hospital, said that young people will exhibit symptoms of the virus but will not be the worst off.
“They are not the ones requiring the hospitalization. They are not getting the sickest,” said Nimjee. “You’re looking for fever, decreased activity, little bit of fatigue, but not lethargy, running nose, cough, sore throat.”
On Thursday, two new cases of Covid-19 reported in Ontario were patients under the age of 18. Health officials said that one of the two patients was “quite young” but would not say their age.
The Ministry of Health told CTV News Toronto that due to privacy reasons, it cannot provide more specific information.
The transmission for both has been listed as ’close contact’. Both are at home in self-isolation.
Estefany Flores’ son Nicolas was born at Humber River Hospital Wednesday night.
“(I am) just worried because you’re not sure if people are really being dedicated, doing self-quarantines or checking their symptoms,” she said.
Pregnancy, breastfeeding, infants
Nimjee said early studies show the virus isn’t transmitted through breastmilk.
“Risk to babies is extremely low,” she said.
Nimjee said women who are pregnant and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 will not spread the virus to their infant.
She said for women who are expecting, it’s not necessary to self-quarantine, but is important to practice great hygiene.
“There is no indication right now that just if you are pregnant, but have no symptoms, and have not had exposure to anybody that has or is a suspected case for COVID-19, if you have not travelled to a country where we are concerned about the possibility of you being exposed to COVID-19, there is no indication that these women should go into voluntary quarantine,” Nimjee said.
”Hand washing for sure, being extra cautious about being in crowded places where you have more people that could be carrying virus, so you really want to limit that exposure,” said Nimjee.
Toddlers and daycare
Nimjee said she she believes we are going to see increased measures of “social distancing” and also gave advice about deciding whether toddlers should stay home from daycare.
“If you’re toddler has symptoms of flu-like illness, viral illness, common cold, fever, certainly you don’t want to take them, so that way we don’t have increased viruses spreading in those daycares, but if your toddler is fine and well, and there are no other children at that daycare that are symptomatic, than there is no reason why your toddler can’t go at this point.”