Are Kids Dying With COVID-19?

How many children have died with COVID-19?

You have likely heard that COVID-19 is not supposed to make children sick, so what’s with the reports that kids are dying with COVID-19?

“Whereas most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization still occurs in this age group.”

Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Children — United States, February 12–April 2, 2020

So far, while fewer than 2% of cases in the United States have occurred in children and teens who are less than 18 years old, some of those “pediatric COVID-19 cases were hospitalized.”

Although this infant did test positive for COVID-19, it’s possible that the baby died from an underlying condition instead.

Some were even admitted to the ICU and tragically, a few have died.

Are Kids Dying With COVID-19?

How many kids?

So far, as of early April, there have been over 45,000 COVID-19 deaths worldwide (all ages), including 5,443 deaths in the United States (all ages).

“In China, the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of a 10-month-old and a 14-year-old, at least.”

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of an infant and a teenager

And some of those deaths have been in children.

“Three deaths were reported among the pediatric cases included in this analysis; however, review of these cases is ongoing to confirm COVID-19 as the likely cause of death.”

Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Children — United States, February 12–April 2, 2020

It’s important to note that these recent COVID-19 deaths in children are still being investigated, but according to reports they include:

  • a teenager in California who did not have any preexisting conditions
  • a six-week old infant in Connecticut who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during postmortem testing
  • a young child (under age 5 years) with underlying health conditions in Hamilton County, Tennessee
  • an 11-year-old in Georgia – was an adult with an incorrectly reported age…
  • an infant (under 12 months old) in Chicago
  • a 22-week old premature baby whose mother with COVID-19 went into premature labor (in general, the survival rate at 22 weeks is extremely low, improving as you get closer to 24 to 25 weeks)
  • a 13-year-old in Colorado who had an underlying seizure disorder
  • a 5-year-old in Detroit, Michigan – the daughter of two area first responders

The latest reports of COVID-19 deaths include:

Again, experts have still not confirmed that COVID-19 caused all of these deaths.

“An official cause of death remains outstanding pending toxicology results, and officials said it is possible the child died not from the virus but from an underlying condition, sudden infant death syndrome or positional asphyxiation.”

Questions remain about the death of a Hartford infant, despite governor’s claim death was linked to coronavirus

While it likely seems hard to believe, since we know that children can be infected with SARS-CoV-2 and not have symptoms, it should become easier to understand that some pediatric deaths could be unrelated to a positive COVID-19 test.

Of course, that likely won’t mean that they were all unrelated, but still, it is easy to see that there are far, far fewer COVID-19 deaths in children than in adults.

That’s very important to remember if we continue to see the occasional media report of a child dying with COVID-19.

And remember to continue to encourage your kids to follow all social distancing recommendations, as even though they don’t typically get severe disease, kids likely do get mild or asymptomatic disease that they can spread to others.

More on COVID-19 Deaths

Author: Vincent Iannelli, MD

Vincent Iannelli, MD

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