Cody looking sick Image copyright Ashleigh McCormack
Image caption Cody spent five hours in hospital before being sent home to self-isolate

A mother whose son aged seven is suspected to have the coronavirus says she fears a lack of testing could cause “more panic”.

Cody from Sherburn, County Durham, was taken to hospital on Saturday but has not been tested for Covid-19 because he did not meet the testing criteria.

The government has said testing is prioritised for those “most at risk”.

Cody’s mother, Ashleigh McCormack, said she had received “hate comments” from online doubters.

She said her mother posted an update about Cody on a local Facebook page to raise awareness, but the family received “cyber bullying”, including accusations they were “attention-seeking” and “scare mongering”.

Cody, who had recently returned from a family holiday in Spain, started coughing on Thursday night, but developed other symptoms including a high temperature and headache the following evening.

Mrs McCormack called 111 and was advised he should self-isolate, and to call back if he deteriorated.

‘You know your child’

At about 04:00 on Saturday he “felt like a toaster to touch” and 111 operators told the family to take him to the University Hospital of North Durham.

Who will be tested for coronavirus?

Public Health England said testing will be prioritised for those “most at risk of severe illness” from the virus, including those in hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness”.

“People who are in the community with a fever or cough do not usually need testing”, the service said.

Tests will “primarily” be given to:

  • All patients in critical care for pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or flu like illness
  • All other patients requiring admission to hospital for pneumonia, ARDS or flu like illness
  • Where an outbreak has occurred in a residential or care setting, for example long-term care facility or prisons

After five hours in hospital and tests including a lung x-ray, they were allowed home to self-isolate again.

Mrs McCormack said doctors told her they believed he had the coronavirus, but it would not be confirmed by testing.

“If the doctor says you have something, then nine times out of 10 you have it,” she said, adding: “Cody is still poorly.”

“I am aware the testing has ended, which will probably cause more panic than usual as people will just never know whether they are affected.

“You know your own body, and a mother knows her child better than anyone.”

She has also been criticised for sending him to school on Friday, but said “we didn’t think anything of it” as he was only coughing and not displaying any other symptoms at that point.

His school, Sherburn Primary School, said it would follow Public Health England advice with the school “open as normal” on Monday.

Thirteen members of Cody’s family are now self-isolating, Mrs McCormack said.

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