• The two-day-old baby developed COVID-pneumonia
  • The baby spent 39 days on a breathing tube
  • More than 12.3 million children in the US have tested positive for COVID-19

A newborn baby in Maine spent nearly four months in the hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19 amid a rising number of pediatric coronavirus cases across the United States.

Caroline Buckley was born on Nov. 12, 2021, at Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital in Presque Isle, ME. The infant, who was born nine weeks premature, first tested positive on Nov. 14 and was immediately transported to the neonatal intensive care unit at the Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after she developed pneumonia.

It was not immediately clear whether Caroline’s parents were vaccinated against COVID-19.

“She challenged us quite often. There was a lot of worry, a lot of great medicine, great care, and we were able to get her through a very difficult time,” Dr. Jay Hagerty, the Medical Director of the NICU at EMMC, told WABI 5.

Caroline’s condition worsened, leading to her needing a breathing tube for 39 days. Doctors at the hospital utilized different strategies for breathing machines and medications until the newborn recovered 98 days later.

As Caroline’s parents carried her out of the hospital, employees lined the lobby to celebrate her discharge with golf claps.

Caroline is one of the many children who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the U.S. As of Feb. 10, health officials have recorded 12,341,801 total child coronavirus cases, with a rate of 16,397 cases per 100,000 children.

Additionally, there were 298,931 child COVID-19 cases reported between Feb. 3 and 10 alone. The number of new coronavirus infections among children represented 2.1% of all cases registered during the same period.

Among the 25 states that reported pediatric COVID-19 cases, children represented 1.5% to 4.6% of all hospitalizations. Among 46 states reporting pediatric COVID-19 deaths, children represented up to 0.23%, according to a joint report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

As of Sunday, COVID-19 vaccines are only available for children aged 5 and older. Vaccine maker Pfizer-BioNTech is still testing the efficacy of the shot in children aged 4 and under. The data for that trial is not expected until April.

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