Covid-19: Baby's mother issues mottled skin warning

By Charlie Jones
BBC News

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image copyrightMyer Rudelhoff
image captionGeorge had mottled skin, swelling on his lips, a high temperature and could not keep fluids down

The mother of a baby who was treated in hospital for Covid-19 has urged parents to be alert to symptoms such as mottled skin and sickness.

Myer Rudelhoff's four-month-old son George spent three nights in Basildon hospital, in Essex.

He had patchy skin, swelling on his lips, a high temperature and could not keep fluids down.

She said: "I thought it was a sickness bug. I had no idea it was caused by coronavirus."

image copyrightMyer Rudelhoff
image captionGeorge spent three nights in Basildon hospital

Diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal cramps in children can be a sign of coronavirus according to some researchers, but the officially recognised symptoms are a fever, cough and loss of smell or taste.

Mrs Rudlehoff, who lives in Basildon, noticed her son had a temperature on New Year's Eve but put it down to teething.

George began vomiting the following evening and on 2 January she called NHS 111, who told her to take him to hospital.

She said: "I really did not want to go. I was so scared about him getting the virus there, I had no idea he had it.

"He got so poorly so quickly when we arrived and was really lethargic. They took a swab and, when they said he was positive, I burst into tears. It was such a shock."

image copyrightMyer Rudlehoff
image captionMyer Rudelhoff was scared to take her son to hospital but realised he was too poorly and needed treatment

The mother-of-two said she presumed it was not Covid-19 because he did not have a cough, though he did develop a mild one a few days later while in hospital.

She said the staff were "amazing" and she wanted to reassure parents "not to be afraid to go to hospital" if their children were ill.

image copyrightMyer Rudelhoff
image captionGeorge made a good recovery in hospital

Nurses told her they had treated several other children with the same mottled skin and sickness and asked her to share her story to raise awareness of these symptoms.

Mrs Rudelhoff's post on Facebook was shared nearly 7,000 times within three days.

In the post, she said she felt "upset, angry and frustrated" because she had taken the illness very seriously but George had still managed to catch it. He was the only member of the family who tested positive.

George was discharged from hospital and was making a good recovery at home, she said.

image copyrightMyer Rudelhoff
image captionGeorge is now making a good recovery at home and is being looked after by his big brother Stanley

Dr Kilali Ominu-Evbota, paediatric consultant at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: "It's great to hear that George is now back home and on the road to recovery.

"George's family did the right thing and we encourage parents to seek medical advice with their GP or via the NHS 111 service in order to get the correct treatment for their child."

Basildon has an infection rate of 1,265 cases per 100,000 people - compared to the average England rate of 606.9.

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