7-month-old baby in S.C. tests positive for COVID-19

The child's mother says she’s sharing her family’s story because she wants people to know...
The child's mother says she’s sharing her family’s story because she wants people to know COVID-19 can seriously affect children.(Courtney Doster)
Updated: Mar. 22, 2020 at 11:47 AM EDT
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CAMDEN, S.C. (WIS) - A 7-month-old baby boy from Kershaw County has tested positive for COVID-19.

Courtney Doster and her husband have three young children. Their youngest, Emmett, is battling the virus. Doster says her mother also tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) are not sure where Doster’s mother contracted the virus, but she had been around little Emmett before she knew she was sick.

Doster says Emmett had a high fever Monday, and she spent several hours on the phone with DHEC and Prisma Health officials to figure out where a baby could be tested for coronavirus.

“We finally were able to get an answer to get him to Urgent Care in Elgin,” she explained. “And we brought him in there, and they made us get a mask and everything, and they put us in an isolation room for him to be tested.”

There, he was also diagnosed with viral pneumonia.

Monday night, Doster says Emmett’s fever spiked to 104 degrees, so she rushed him to Prisma Health Children’s Hospital, where they spent the night.

The baby’s COVID-19 test came back positive Tuesday.

Doster says only little Emmett has been tested for COVID-19, but she and the rest of her family are under a legal contract with DHEC not leave their home until April 1.

She said her 4-year-old and 2-year-old are not showing any signs of the virus, but she’s worried.

“We’re watching them closely and checking their temperatures, keeping an eye on them just to make sure that they don’t show any symptoms just because the period can be up to 14 days, so there is a very big possibility that they become sick too," Doster said.

Doster says she has only been able to give Emmett Tylenol because doctors told her ibuprofen and breathing treatments could worsen the symptoms of COVID-19.

“It’s very, very scary not to know -- could he make a turn for the worse tonight and just not be able to breathe,” she said. “I’ve noticed him coughing more than he did in the beginning and so that’s very scary.”

Doster says she and her family feel like they are on their own because they are not able to get tested.

“We were told just make it out like you have it,” she said. “There’s really not much we can do about it.”

If Emmett’s symptoms worsen, she says she was told to call 911, and emergency crews would take him to the hospital since she is not allowed to leave her home due to the quarantine.

Doster says she’s sharing her family’s story because she wants people to know COVID-19 can seriously affect children.

“I really feel like people need to know that it’s possible that their children can get it, and I feel like a lot of people are taking it as a joke,” she said. “It’s obviously very serious. And no one wants to see their kid have to be poked and prodded. I hope people continue to wash their hands and take due diligence in staying home.”

As of Friday, March 20, DHEC confirmed 125 cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina. Of those, 36 cases are in Kershaw County.

Get the latest numbers from DHEC by clicking or tapping here.

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