Infant dies of coronavirus in Illinois, a first in US

(KY3/KSPR) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports an infant, younger than one year in Chicago, has died after testing positive for coronavirus.

This is the first-known infant death in the US associated with the coronavirus.

Officials didn't release other information about the infant, who was from Cook County, which includes Chicago, including whether the child had other health issues.

“There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant. A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us.”

Older adults are at higher risk of severe illness, and more than 85% of deaths in Illinois are among individuals 60 years of age and older, per IDPH. However, people of all ages are suffering severe illness.

Children have made up a small fraction of coronavirus cases worldwide. A letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Chinese researchers earlier this month reported the death of a 10-month-old with COVID-19. The infant had a bowel blockage and organ failure, and died four weeks after being hospitalized.

Separate research published in the journal Pediatrics traced 2,100 infected children in China and noted one death, a 14-year old. The study found less than 6% of children were seriously ill.

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