85 Babies Test Positive For Coronavirus In One Texas County

85 Babies Test Positive For Coronavirus In One Texas County

The babies, all under 1-year-old, were from Nueces County, about 145 miles from San Antonio.

Nueces County in Texas has seen a massive surge of cases as 85 babies under the age of 1 have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a local public health official. Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for Corpus Christi, which is located in Nueces County, spoke at a COVID-19 press briefing on Friday but did not elaborate on the conditions of the babies. “These babies have not even had their first birthday yet. Please help us to stop the spread of this disease,” she said.



Texas has fast become a major COVID-19 hotspot in the United States. There are some hospitals in the state actually operating at full capacity as the virus continues to spread. There are over 8,400 coronavirus cases and 90 casualties reported in Nueces County alone as of Saturday at 5 p.m, per the Corpus Christi's official data. The Texas Health Department, meanwhile, added a note on their dashboard that was last updated on Saturday afternoon—citing that Nueces County has reported just under 8,200 cases. Harris County leads the state with over 54,000 cases, with Dallas County next with over 40,000 cases. 



There were concerns raised all over the world about newborns being infected with the coronavirus and though positive tests among babies have been relatively uncommon, they were not unheard of. Current research on the coronavirus suggests that adults, particularly those who are older or with underlying health conditions, are at significantly higher risk from suffering the worst effects of COVID-19 as compared to younger people. A European study that was published on June 25 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health found that less than 1% of children that develop COVID-19 symptoms, ranging from 3-day-olds to 18, may succumb to it. 



Meanwhile, back in Nueces County, there is a worrying trend amongst the populace due to the rise in cases. Peter Zanoni, the Corpus Christi city manager, said during the press briefing on Friday that the county has the fastest case growth in new cases right now, on the seven-day average than any other metropolitan county in the state. “That’s a problem,” he said. Zanoni also noted that the seven-day average for the rest of the country was around 357 cases a day. He pointed out that “back in April we were reporting zero new cases — maybe three, maybe five” but things took a turn in July. “[T]his is where we have had that huge spike in cases, and this is why it’s turned into a major problem for Nueces County,” he said. With 2% of the population infected, or one in every 50 people, Corpus Christi’s county has more cases per capita than Harris or Dallas counties.



According to the Texas Tribune, the rise in cases in Nueces County might have something to do with the tourist activity in the region. Local officials say visitors and tourists to the popular beachfront location were the main drivers of the initial outbreak, the Tribune reports. Their report found that small gatherings of families and friends and summer visitors to tourist destinations are spreading the virus. That behavior, particularly among young people, may be responsible for dozens of new hot spots that will be more difficult to eradicate. “I’m born and raised here, and I’ve never seen so many people coming here,” Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said regarding activities during May and June. She has restricted vehicle access to beaches and is asking visitors: “Let us heal and stabilize, we are at a critical breaking point."



Information about the pandemic is swiftly changing, and Shared is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.

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