Child picks up COVID-19 in community

| 02/06/2020 | 51 Comments
Cayman News Service
CMO Dr John Lee at Tuesday’s press briefing

(CNS): Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee has confirmed that the person who went to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms on Monday was a 9-year-old child who, although sick with the virus, has not been hospitalized. The child is only the third minor who has tested positive with the virus to show any symptoms. The CMO said public health is gathering information about this case because the child was not in quarantine as a traveller and has no known positive contacts, meaning the virus was picked up in the community.

While some children have become sick with this novel coronavirus, they remain the least impacted demographic all over the world. Although they can acquire the virus like anyone else, evidence suggests they are the most likely to be asymptomatic. It remains the case that most people who become sick are elderly or have serious underlying health conditions.

Dr Lee said it was “a sobering thought for us all” and served as a reminder that the virus is still among us. He said that information was being collected as to how the child acquired the virus, which officials were keen to find out.

There was just one more positive case today among a batch of 59 results. This brings the total of positive cases in Cayman since the pandemic started to 151 out of 12,003 total tests. Currently, the child is the only person with the virus who is symptomatic; 72 others who have tested positive and are now in isolation remain asymptomatic.

As the local authorities continue to screen test sample groups and front-line workers across Grand Cayman, a picture of the prevalence of the virus is now emerging. That picture, it is hoped, will be filled out with the help of the IgG antibody blood tests that are expected to begin next week.

However, the accuracy of these tests remains in question and it is still not known how long people acquire immunity for after contacting COVID-19.

Nevertheless, Dr Lee said that he believes knowing whether people have had the virus or not will help public health further understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in Cayman.

The results will also show whether or not the island has acquired any herd immunity based on the numbers of people who have had the virus but were unaware or never tested.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Feel good story of the day.
    I was driving back to work today and I was on Boilers.
    In the middle of the road was a baby white-wing dove.
    It could not fly.
    I stopped my car and waved a few people on. (Thanks for your patience.)
    I did not see any parents nearby.
    I managed to scoop the little fellow up and turned back home.
    I gave him to my daughter to look after because she is very good with animals.
    She named him Larry.

    I went to see Rene from Animal House and he showed me what to feed Larry.
    My daughter and Larry are now enjoying her ukelele and he seems really happy.
    If he can fly in the next few days after he gets stronger, we’ll see if we can reunite him with Mom and Dad.

  2. Anonymous says:

    oh no. For sure Alden is never letting helpers back to work. And schools opening is much different from a helper going to one family.

  3. A says:

    The CDC has states: Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. (

    Schools were never shut or very temporarily shut in Scandinavia and have now opened up. Australia & New Zealand have opened up. In the UK all essential workers kids and vulnerable kids were never closed off from day care and nurseries and after the results of this they have opened up to more.

    It’s been nearly 3 months, kids urgently need phasing into society if parents wish them to be (by all means keep yours home for as long as you would like to, but please stop booking hair & nail appts and arranging golf & drinking sessions for the day the salons/ bars open if that’s your view).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Or it may simply be that the symptoms are so mild that most of us don’t think it is the virus. Shoot I just cleared my throat, do I have the virus? Yesterday, I went out running for the first time in two months and could not catch my breath, do I have the virus? Last week I thought I had a fever, do I have the virus?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ahh but if these European countries are only now opening, do you really expect that the studies will show that kids have picked up the virus from persons they were not in contact with?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Those on here that conspire to diminish the reality that COVID-19 has had on ICUs and communities around the world, are thankfully (as yet) untouched by firsthand experience with this brand new type of disease. There is now a growing body of evidence to support the theory that the novel coronavirus is much more than a respiratory disease, that it is vasculotropic and invades endothelial cells that line blood vessels. How your immune system and vasculature will respond is anyone’s guess. So far, we seem to have been exceedingly fortunate.

    • No one special says:

      Yes indeed. Blessed and fortunate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fortunate and well guided by well educated people with scientific and medical backgrounds

    • Anonymous says:

      We’re not talking about around the world we’re literally living in the Cayman Islands where no one has been hospitalized for over five weeks. Focus on us.

      • Anonymous says:

        rather ignorant to ignore what has happened elsewhere don’t you think?

        • Anonymous says:

          Not really considering it’s not happening to us. So I’m gonna focus on where I’m at since I am not leaving nor is anyone dying….but people are going to start starving and then they’re going to start robbing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    In Denmark they traced 1500 infections, not one had stated from a child. All over Europe countries are opening schools as there is overwhelming scientific evidence that whilst children can get sick, their symptoms are mild and they almost certainly picked up the infection from and adult they are in close contact with. Of course it possible that child gets severely ill, its the same with cancer, heart disease and other illnesses, it’s just so rare that benefits of opening schools outweigh the risk.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re talking about the other side of the world, this has nothing to do with Cayman. The points you are missing are the connections to Kawasaki disease and more importantly that children are “super spreaders” because of they are unaware of how to prevent spreading it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since my kids have been home from school, they have had no sickness whatsoever. It is plainly obvious that bugs thrive in a school environment. Okay, so we cannot and should not shield our kids from this, it helps strengthen their immune system, but covid 19 is just not that predictable, it has most definitely killed children too.

      • Anonymous says:

        Homeschool has long been a thing. Sounds like it’s for you. Doesn’t mean the rest of us should be oppressed.

      • Anonymous says:

        “(RSV) infection is a leading cause of global acute lower respiratory tract infection in young children. It was associated with 48 000–74 500 in-hospital deaths in children aged younger than 5 years in 2015”

        Horrible but this was normal and acceptable as part of life until we lost our minds with coronavirus hysterics.

        Will you people wake up please. We cannot live in a world dominated by fear.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Doctor Dipshit

    • Anonymous says:

      Outweigh the risk eh? I guess unless the kid takes it home to grandma or infects a friend in school with diabetes etc etc. The issue is not the child necessarily. It’s the risk they pose to others.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “has no known positive contacts, meaning the virus was picked up in the community.” You sure about that? Is it possible that a family member had the virus passed it on, and recovered so they now test negative whilst the child has in the meantime incubated and fallen ill? Not saying that happened – frankly I dont know enough about the timescale of this virus – but unless they gave the parents an antibody test not sure you can rule it out?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it possible the child was out playing with other children? I know people who let their kids play with each other, or perhaps with nanny, who is not a live in? As I’ve seen that too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or maybe was not social distancing as they should have been but not being truthful.

  9. Anonymous says:

    There are probably lots of people who have symptoms but don’t come forward. Why? Because they will be told to stay home, not to go to work, not earn money, they may be judged by their neighbours, they may be subject to contact tracing which could make their life difficult. There is a stigma surrounding this disease and there are also people that cannot afford to not work. Also, the government has made it clear that the more positive symptomatic cases we get, the longer the lockdown continues. This does not incentivise people to come forward, it’s just human nature.

    The people now testing positive but asymptomatic may have had symptoms previously but chose to conceal it and recovered.

    Fact of the matter is that it’s out there, people are going to get it and the continued curfew and restrictions won’t change that. Eradication is a nice idea but not realistic. The daily test results do not, and never will, give an accurate picture of how many people on this island actually have the virus. The sooner we get back to business and accept the new normal the better.

    I hope the young child diagnosed has a speedy recovery.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone that believe he/she may have the virus and chose not to get check because he/she is putting himself first should reconsider his/her quality as a human.

      • Anonymous says:

        So says the person who stays home while essential workers allow this to even happen.

      • Anonymous says:

        Says the person sitting at home and continuing to get paid. Perhaps while doing absolutely nothing.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Big surprise that those who don’t believe in social distancing are catching it.

  11. Anon says:

    Until now we were only advised the age range which I believe was 14 to 85. I would like to know how many seniors have tested positive, as I am one.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I hope this young child recovers quickly. That being said, there seems to be a lot of panic around this latest positive case. Symptomatic does NOT mean that this poor child is hospitalized on a ventilator fighting for his/her life (and may that remain the case!). It could be a fever, or a cough or some other form of mild symptoms. I think it’s a big stretch to immediately jump to conclusions that schools need to remained closed beyond the scheduled summer break, that there should not be any summer camps, etc. Week after week after week I’m still left asking what the end game is here? Australian children went back to school in mid-May.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The next thing Doc Lee will have us believe is scuba equipment transmits Covid 19 due to ” All That Saliva” …..

  14. Anonymous says:

    scary stuff..we all know kids spread germs the quickest…good thing schools and child places are already closed…hopefully all 3 kids recover successfully.

    • Anonymous says:

      There have been 7 children who have tested positive for COVID-19 within our boarders. Definitely cause for concern. It would have been nice if the panel was more forthcoming regarding these cases. Correct me if I am wrong, but beyond the 14 year old, I have not heard them mention any other children contracting the virus. Our children and elderly are our most vulnerable, I sincerely hope they recover with no lasting issues.

    • Anonymous says:

      They will.

    • Anonymous says:

      Overwhelming amount of scientific studies point out that children do not spread this virus when the infections have been traced children in every case picked up the infection from an adult they were in close contact with not other way around and most children are not affected at all so can not spread the virus

      • Anonymous says:

        please use punctuation or compose your comment in a way that is easily understood

        • Anonymous says:

          I fine it humorous that a pedant giving writing advice fails to use capitalization or punctuation. But at least your comment was easily understood!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is dying. Can we get second and third doctor’s opinions?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Rasta. Help me out. The good doctor has said

    “If there has been a huge exposure that we don’t know about, that may make us more relaxed.”

    How is there to be huge exposure if we are locked up?

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