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Parents of child who battled complications of coronavirus send important message

5-year-old recovering at Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee
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Posted at 4:14 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 18:30:10-04

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. — Parents of a 5-year-old still in the hospital are sharing an important message after they and their kids were infected with COVID-19.

5-year-old Marcellus is excited to find out what surprise his parents have waiting for him at home.

Earlier this month, his entire family was infected with the coronavirus. But Kristen Polacik and her husband, Miguel Baltazar Garcia got better. Even their 8-month-old baby girl got through it.

But Marcellus had complications.

"It doesn't just attack your lungs. It's not just a respiratory," Polacik said.

Garcia said doctors can't say for sure if the issues Marcellus started having with his appendix came from COVID-19, but pediatricians are reporting seeing other symptoms in children who are testing positive.

"Kids with urinary tract infections that end up testing positive for coronavirus," said Dr. Chad Sanborn, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Palm Beach Children's Hospital. "I have heard of a lot of kids with pretty severe abdominal pain, and we've seen some children with that, too, with coronavirus infection."

Marcellus' parents are grateful that after a week at Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee, they get to take their son home.

"My advice to the parents is wear your mask and protect yourself at every occasion," Garcia said. "You might not get sick, but you have to protect the vulnerable for sure."

Dr. Sanborn said Palm Beach Children's Hospital is seeing a fair number of children being infected by adults who bring the virus home.

"There are some data suggesting that children don't spread it as efficiently as adults do, maybe get it less, and certainly get symptoms less than adults. Well the big question mark where we don't have an answer for is we haven't had a whole lot of children in close contact with each other for long periods of time to test that out," Sanborn said.