TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Of the more than 1,400 known cases of coronavirus in Florida as of Tuesday morning, 8 On Your Side is learning more children are testing positive, including several in Tampa Bay.
While health experts say children generally develop mild cases of the illness, they can still spread it to others who are more vulnerable.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the youngest known COVID-19 case in Hillsborough County is a three-year-old boy. Seven of the confirmed cases since Monday are children under the age of 16.
“With more pediatric cases being diagnosed I think its important that we remember that by and far most of the children who are going to get this are going to have very mild symptoms,” said Dr. Catherine Hough-Telford, a pediatrician in Tampa.
Dr. Hough-Telford told 8 On Your Side children should also social distance to help flatten the curve.
“Children can spread the virus and have no symptoms,” she said, “So that’s why it is important everyone is staying home and limiting social contact right now.”
According to the data from the Florida Department of Health as of 5 p.m., the youngest known case in Polk County is an 8-year-old boy. In Manatee County, a 14-year-old boy has tested positive.
A 6-year-old boy and a 10 -year-old boy reported positive in Hillsborough on Monday has contact with another confirmed case.
This news comes following what is believed to be first child death in the United States connected to the coronavirus
The L.A. County Department of Public Health only described the child who died as a Lancaster resident who lived in Lancaster.
The case is a “devastating reminder that COVID-19 infects people of all ages,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of L.A. County Department of Public Health.
“What is your best advice to a parent who may test positive who also has to care for their children?” 8 On Your Side asked Dr. Hough-Telford.
“Stay in one part of the house and the children in the other part of the house,” she said, “so a family member or spouse could care for the children while you’re sick that could be helpful. But really it comes down to sanitizing frequently touched surfaces in the house and just trying your best to limit close contact and frequently washing your hands.”
By comparison in South Florida, an infant under the age of one in Broward County is the state’s youngest coronavirus case.
Of the more than 15,000 tests statewide, a third have been done in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
With 65 total cases, Tampa is the city with the third-highest number of cases, only trailing 181 in Miami and 76 in Hollywood.
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