While the misconception that children can't contract the deadly Coronavirus is still widely popular, Emma's case proves otherwise. Thankfully, she is recovering.
Over the past few weeks, medical experts have been learning more about the deadly Coronavirus. While the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk, this not to say that the young are not susceptible to the disease. There is perhaps no better example of this than Emma's case. Emma, a 12-year-old girl from Atlanta, was diagnosed with pneumonia on March 15 but had officially contracted COVID-19 on Friday last week, CNN reports. Thankfully, she is finally recovering. However, this is only after a hellish time in the hospital, where was battling for her life.
Her condition is steadily improving according to her cousin Justin Anthony. He said Emma is "slowly waking up out of sedation and is responding well to her dad and mom." The doctors recently took an x-ray of her lungs, and they showed "good improvement." Nonetheless, the family's time at the hospital has been difficult. Emma's story first went viral on Sunday when CNN reported on her health last week. At the time, her cousin explained, she was "fighting for her life" at the medical facility. While it has not been confirmed, the 12-year-old is suspected to be admitted into Children's Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Hospital. The facility affirmed it had a child with Coronavirus, but refused to share further details. A spokeswoman for the hospital said previously, "The patient remains in isolation, and we have consistently used appropriate precautions. Additional details will not be released due to patient privacy laws."
Though Emma's condition is improving, Anthony hopes her situation will highlight the importance of social distancing and other measures to mitigate the spread of the virus - especially in the case of children. "I know first-hand how dangerous it is," he stated. "Everyone keeps saying it doesn't impact younger people. But here's a 12-year-old. People need to practice social distancing. People need to take care of their children. People need to take this seriously." At present, the United States has more than 53,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. Additionally, the deadly virus has already killed more than 700 patients. While symptoms are known to be more severe in the case of older patients, the ability to contract COVID-19 is not dependent on age. As per a student conducted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly six percent of children's cases were severe, compared with 18.5 percent of adults experiencing severe symptoms.
The real number of infected persons in the United States, nonetheless, is near impossible to ascertain. This is largely because several cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic. Further to this, in order to contract Coronavirus, you need not have preexisting conditions or traveled recently. Such was the case with 12-year-old Emma. This means hundreds - even thousands - of individuals could be walking around not even knowing they have contracted the virus. Hence, the importance of self-isolation becomes even more evident. That is the only way to slow down the spread of the virus and help "flatten the curve" so as to not overburden our public health system.
Disclaimer: Information about COVID-19 is swiftly changing, and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.