A 1-day old premature baby girl has died from complications of Covid-19 after her mother, who tested positive for coronavirus, gave birth on April 1.
A week ago the Louisiana mother was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 symptoms, including shortness of breath and a fever.
She was placed on a ventilator before going into pre-term labour and delivered her daughter prematurely at 22 weeks.
East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark said the baby, who died less than a day old, had not tested positive for Covid-19, but officials are considering the death Covid-19 related because of the "positive nature of the mother".
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"Unfortunately her pregnancy, which she was carrying, she went into pre-term labour and ultimately delivered the baby prematurely, and in doing so, the baby, because of the extreme prematurity, did not survive," Clark said.
"The child as of now has not tested positive for Covid-19, however, the mother was, and in speaking with the state epidemiologist, we all agree, myself included and the doctors involved in the care, that this would be a Covid-19-related death because of the positive nature of the mother in this scenario.
"Had she not been Covid-19 positive, had not required ventilator support, had not had the shortness of breath and hypoxia that's associated with the virus, likely she would not have gone into pre-term labour and there would have been a different outcome," Clark said.
He said this is the first case of its kind that he's aware of in Louisiana, but after speaking to other officials around the US, "there have been cases similar to this".
"You hope that this would never happen here in our state, but it has and we're certainly left dealing with that issue," he said.
Clark said the newborn's death is an important reminder to adhere to guidance from public health officials.
"This really brings up a strong point that we should all pay attention to the quarantine, pay attention to the social distancing and the isolation."