PITTSFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A Pittsfield mother is speaking out after her two-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 and potentially be the youngest case in the Bay State.
Ciara Berkeley, the mother of two-year-old Inari, told us her daughter is doing much better today than a week ago when she tested positive for COVID-19.
However, she said it's been a rollercoaster of emotions.
“I could just tell something was off and different…not herself,” Berkeley said.
It’s a parent's worst nightmare. On November 9, Berkeley told Western Mass News that she noticed her two-year-old daughter was not her normal self. She described Inari as being lethargic and having a bad cough.
“She ended up taking a nap, woke up, and had a fever and it was 103.8,” Berkeley explained.
Berkeley immediately rushed to the emergency room at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield where Inari received a COVID-19 rapid test and the result was positive.
“I was scared…I didn’t know what to think. This is affecting a lot of people and I’ve never hear of someone so young having it,” Berkeley explained.
Doctors at the hospital prescribed Tylenol and Motrin and sent Inari home to quarantine while she recovers.
“They said that they haven’t seen someone so young have COVID, so when I did speak to them, they said they were going to have a meeting with pediatrics team and put procedures and protocols in place, so they can have an idea of what they would do going forward for younger kids that do end up getting COVID,” Berkeley noted.
Only a few days later, Berkeley woke up around 4 a.m. and noticed Inari was having a hard time breathing, so she rushed back to the medical center.
“She seemed to be having trouble breathing. It was her cough. She was screaming and crying and I felt so helpless. I didn’t know how to help her or what to do,” Berkeley said.
Doctors examined Inari and cleared her to go back home.
In the meantime, around the country and the world, doctors continue to study how COVID-19 affects individuals of all ages.
Dr. John O’Reilly, the chief of pediatrics at Baystate Medical Center, told Western Mass News children of any age can get exposed to COVID-19, but it appears younger people tend to have milder cases than adults.
“It probably relates to how their immune system responds to this virus, so a little kid - let's say a two-year-old - their body is almost continuously being exposed to different germs and things as the kids pick up stuff,” O’Reilly explained.
Berkeley told us while she has taken Inari outside, she always makes sure she is wearing a face covering.
O’Reilly said parents should make sure masks are on properly.
“I see a lot of kids wearing chin guards for a mask, but it really needs to be over their nose and mouth,” O’Reilly noted.
Under Gov. Charlie Baker’s new mask mandate order, children under five are not required to wear face coverings in public, but Berkeley had a different message.
“Anyone below five should, indeed, wear a mask. Obviously, this goes to show anyone under five can get COVID and it’s important to keep kids safe,” Berkeley said.
Berkeley also tested positive for COVID-19. As she and her daughter quarantine at home, family members have driven by to say hi from the window and drop-off gifts.
“I love them,” Inari said.
However, it's still difficult for Inari to understand.
“When the visit is over and she sees them leaving, she cries,” Berkeley said.
Berkeley said it will be a long winter. She will not be taking Inari out for some time and will only allow her immediate family to visit once they are done quarantining.
We have reached out to the Mass. Department of Public Health to confirm this is the youngest case in the Bay State. We have not heard back at this time.