NewsPolk County


Parents warn public about immune-compromised kids and coronavirus

Posted at 5:31 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 21:03:13-04

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- A mother is reminding the public that it’s not only the elderly at risk when it comes to COVID-19.

Immune-compromised children, especially asthmatic kid's lives are at stake because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a virus that can kill people,” Jennifer Mason, a Polk County mother of two said.


It’s no doubt it’s deadly, COVID-19 has already claimed the lives of of 9,790 people around the word as of Thursday afternoon. But the virus is not only life-threatening for our parents, grandparents and the elderly.


According to the Center for Disease Control, high-risk people include those with diabetes, heart and lung disease as well as those with asthma.

“They just try to tell you to stay as quarantined as you can,” Mason says her son’s doctors recommend they stay at home, isolated from any contamination.

ABC Action News celebrated with Kresten’s family after the baby came home in January.

He had spent 10 month in the hospital after being born at just 22 weeks.

Thursday was his first birthday. While doing great now and growing like a weed, according to his mom, Kresten’s immune system is still extremely sensitive.

The same goes for many children around Florida and the world. For example, Connor, Braxton and Cole all suffer from asthma. Even the common cold can be life-threatening for them.

Anthony Jacob also has asthma and his mother says he can get bronchitis at least twice a year.

And Paul, he suffers from Asthma, Lupus and other autoimmune conditions. Paul was just tested for coronavirus and his family is now waiting on results.

“My husband still has to work and that’s the hard part because he’s out there with all the other people,” Mason says.

Because her husband is out and about with the public, he tries to distance himself from Kresten when he’s home, in hopes he won’t spread the virus to him.

Mason has one message for those who are not taking precautions seriously.

“It might not be severe to them but for somebody like Kresten or the elderly it’s severe and life threatening to them. You could carry it and give it to somebody that could die from it,” she said.

According to CDC, “Complication of COVID-19 appear to be milder among children compared with adults based on limited reports from China. Severe complications were reported in one case of a 13-month-old with confirmed COVID-19. Other reports describe a mild disease course, including in infants. As of February 20, 2020 just one of the 2,114 deaths among 55,924 confirmed COVID-19 cases in China occurred among children young than 20 years old.”

However there were no details on the children who suffered from COVID-19 or the child who died from the virus. The CDC also does not have information available on immune-compromised children - only in how to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. For example, washing your hands and practicing social distancing.

Prepare for COVID-19

• Stock up on supplies.
• Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
• When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick.
• Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid crowds and people who are sick.
• Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
• During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
• If someone in your home is sick, have them stay away from the rest of the household to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in your home.
• Avoid sharing personal household items such as cups and towels.

For children with asthma, the CDC asks parents to follow your asthma action plan.

Asthma Action Plan

• Take your asthma medication exactly as prescribed. Talk to your healthcare provider, insurer, and pharmacist about creating an emergency supply of prescription medications, such as asthma inhalers. Make sure that you have 30 days of non-prescription medications and supplies on hand too in case you need to stay home for a long time.
• Know how to use your inhaler.
• Avoid your asthma triggers.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks daily to protect yourself against COVID-19. Avoid disinfectants that can cause an asthma attack.
• As more cases of COVID-19 are discovered and our communities take action to combat the spread of disease, it is natural for some people to feel concerned or stressed. Strong emotions can trigger an asthma attack. Take steps to help yourself cope with stress and anxiety.

If you have symptoms

Contact your health care provider to ask about your symptoms.