TORONTO -- A U.S. doctor has shared a 'gut-wrenching' video showing her young son coughing and struggling to breathe, urging parents to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously.

The video, uploaded by Anna Zimmermann and verified by Storyful, shows her son Lincoln struggling to breathe in hospital.

“As a doctor, I knew he was working hard to breathe,” Zimmermann, a neonatologist, wrote on her website.

“As a mom, it was torture watching him struggle.”

According to Zimmermann’s description, the video shows Lincoln demonstrating signs of respiratory distress, including “seesaw breathing, nasal flaring, grunting, and retracting.”

The novel coronavirus can cause flu-like symptoms, including a dry cough, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. In severe cases, patients with COVID-19 may develop pneumonia, causing the lungs fill up with fluid.

Zimmermann and her son were isolated at a hospital in Denver, Colo. after Lincoln tested positive for the illness. She filmed the video during their stay to send home to her husband who was at home with their other children.

While the majority of coronavirus infections in children appear to be mild, Zimmermann said the “gut-wrenching” experience of watching her son struggle with the disease is proof that parents need to take the threat seriously.

“Please stay safe. Please stay healthy,” Zimmermann urged parents on her blog. “Please take this virus seriously – it is no joke.”

According to Storyful, Lincoln has since left hospital and is back to his “playful self.”