A teenager based in California’s Central Valley died of causes related to COVID-19, public health officials confirmed on Friday.
The teenager is officially the first juvenile to succumb to the virus in the state of California.
While the teen is said have had underlying health conditions, officials did not release any additional information citing patient privacy concerns.
Valley Children’s Hospital confirmed that they had been treating the patient and released a statement that read, in part, “The death of this patient reaffirms that children – and no age group – are not immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative, now more than ever, for us to all work together to prevent further spread of this disease. Our children deserve no less.”
“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of this young person whose death is a tragic and powerful reminder of how serious COVID-19 can be,” Dr. Sonia Angell, the state’s public health officer, said in the release.
The death comes as Central California coronavirus cases have continuously surged over the last several weeks.
Only about 9 per cent of California’s half-million confirmed virus cases are children. It’s extremely rare for children to die of the coronavirus.
As of mid-July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 228 children had died of the disease in the U.S., less than 0.2 per cent of the nation’s deaths.
California has recorded more than 493,500 cases of COVID-19 and 9,005 deaths, according to the state’s latest figures.
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The United States has more cases and deaths than any other country in the world, with close to 4.5 million cases and 151,826 deaths.
Its four hardest-hit states alone – California, Florida, Texas and New York – have more infections than most of the countries in the top ten. Yesterday, the country recorded over 63,000 new cases.