"These babies have not even had their first birthday yet. Please help us stop the spread of this disease," the county's public health director said.

By Ally Mauch
Updated July 20, 2020
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A nurse wears personal protective equipment while examining a baby
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Texas’ Nueces County, where Corpus Christi is located, has reported that 85 infants under the age of 1 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, health officials said.

"We currently have 85 babies under the age of one year in Nueces County that have all tested positive for Covid-19," said Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for Corpus Christi Nueces County, according to CNN.

"These babies have not even had their first birthday yet,” Rodriguez added. “Please help us stop the spread of this disease."

Texas has become a new hotspot for coronavirus cases, reporting a record of 15,038 new cases on July 16 alone, according to data from The New York Times.

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In the past seven days, Nueces County has had 2,499 new cases and 40 deaths — “the fastest growth in new cases on the seven-day average than any other metropolitan county in the state,” Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni told CNN.

"You can see the trend line is relatively flat until July, and this is where we have had that huge spike in cases, and this is why it's turned into a major problem for Nueces County," Zanoni said.

The news from Rodriguez indicates one of the first announcements of a large number of infant infections in one area. In the past, limited published reports indicated that a “small number of babies” tested positive for the virus shortly after birth. However, children are not at a higher risk than adults and the majority of cases to date are adults, according to the CDC.

Though it is rare, deaths of infants have also been attributed to the virus, including a 6-week-old Connecticut baby who died after testing positive in March.

“We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to COVID-19,” Gov. Ned Lamont said at the time.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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