Valley doctor sees rise in COVID-19 cases among babies

2 years 2 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, September 14 2021 Sep 14, 2021 September 14, 2021 10:08 AM September 14, 2021 in News - Local

A Cameron County doctor says she's seeing an alarming number of new COVID cases, some of them in babies who are only weeks old.

Dr. Tara Vierra with the UTRGV School of Medicine says in the last few months, she has seen a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in babies.

While Dr. Vierra couldn't provide Channel 5 News with any specific numbers, she did say it’s gone from being something very rare to something she sees almost daily—even in very young children.

“As far as neonatal cases, a lot of that has to do with the lack of facial coverings or taking their infants out and about in the community to stores,” Dr. Vierra said.

READ ALSO: Hidalgo County reports 13 coronavirus-related deaths, 312 positive cases  

Dr. Vierra says young children have decreased immunity, and can’t handle exposure to COVID-19, especially since they can’t be vaccinated.

She says the babies battling COVID-19 often need oxygen, and their COVID-19 becomes COVID pneumonia, or COVID meningitis.

“I’ve had several cases of infants who have had COVID meningitis,” Dr. Vierra said.

READ ALSO: Valley health experts push for vaccinations as Mu COVID-19 variant detected in Hidalgo County  

Dr. Vierra says it’s unclear what this could mean for children’s long-term health.

“So later on in life, will they have problems with developmental delay, any learning disorders, any hearing loss? It’s hard to tell right now,” Dr. Vierra said.

Hidalgo County reported 81 children between the ages of 0-11 tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. 

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