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Premature baby's death tied to coronavirus, EBR coroner says

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BATON ROUGE - A day-old baby girl died after being born prematurely after the child's mother gave birth while being hospitalized on a ventilator and testing positive for COVID-19.

The child's death was revealed on Monday, April 6.  A week later, the coroner said a COVID-19 test on the premature baby returned a negative result, meaning the child did not have coronavirus, though the death would still be classified as COVID-19-related, the coroner said, because the child's mother was ill with the virus and it's believed complications from the virus caused the child's premature birth and death.

The mother of the baby was admitted to a hospital on April 1 and the baby died on April 6, a day after being born. 

The mother was 22 weeks pregnant when she delivered the child. 

"[Medical experts] all agree, this would be a COVID-19-related death because of the positive virus in the mother; Had she not been, she would likely not have gone into pre-term labor," Dr. Beau Clark said in a Facebook Live discussion.

"We should all pay attention to the quarantine, the stay at home order, the social distancing.  It becomes very, very important that we pay attention to what we've been told," the coroner said. 

He continued: "We are seeing some improvement in the surge, we are starting to do what they call 'flattening the curve,' [but] social distancing is more important than ever at this moment"

"We need to hold on a little while longer," he said. 

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