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Niagara County has 56 COVID-19 cases, 2 are 1-year-old children

An infectious disease expert said the most vulnerable of pediatric patients are those less than a year old.

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. — Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have risen to 56 in Niagara County as of Tuesday morning. 

You can watch that press conference here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbyG0tMHESs&feature=youtu.be 

2 On Your Side learned Monday, at least two of those cases are children who are both 1-year-old.

Dr. Thomas Russo is a professor and chief of Infectious Disease at University at Buffalo, he said early on in the coronavirus pandemic that there were so few pediatric cases that people wondered if children were immune.

Russo said that is not the case, especially for those less than a year old.

"Nearly all children regardless if they are less than one or older are going to get through this without any serious consequences" he said. "But we are going to see a few fortunately rare consequences in this age group and the ones that we think based on data today are most vulnerable are those that are less than one-year-old."

Dr. Russo said in a time where testing is limited, children are not considered high priority like healthcare workers, first responders or critical patients because most pediatric cases have mild symptoms. 

However, he said if your child is having symptoms of shortness of breath to contact your healthcare provider.

A father's perspective

Paul Carver is a healthcare worker who lives in Gasport in Niagara County. He reached out to 2 On Your Side because he is worried about his 8-month-old son Timothy who has been dealing with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 for two weeks.

"He is literally laboring with every single breath...every breath he takes he's wheezing. It's painful to listen to him breathe right now " said Carver.

Carver has not been able to get Timothy tested to confirm whether or not he has the virus, despite visits to the pediatrician and hospital.

"Watching my son suffer right now and not being able to have him be tested in his vulnerable state it's the most infuriating thing I've ever experienced" Carver said via a FaceTime interview Monday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the Niagara County Department of Health said they do not have COVID-19 tests available right now. They are advising people to work with doctors or pediatricians.

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