Los Angeles reports first possible COVID-19 fatality of minor in U.S.

2020-03-25 15:28

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Los Angeles County on Tuesday confirmed four more deaths linked to COVID-19 on Tuesday, including a youth under the age of 18, possibly the first minor in the United States to die from the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report issued last week that fewer than 1 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States had involved people aged 19 or younger and that no one in that group had died until then.

According to Barbara Ferrer, head of the Los Angeles County's Department of Public Health, the victim was a resident of Lancaster, a city 70 km north of downtown Los Angeles.

"A devastating reminder that COVID-19 infects people of all ages," Ferrer said during a daily news conference.

However, hours after announcing the death, county health officials issued a clarification saying that "further evaluation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" was needed before tying it to the pandemic.

"Though early tests indicated a positive result for COVID-19, the case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality. Patient privacy prevents our offering further details at this time," officials said.

According to Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, the teenage boy died of septic shock, while his father has also contracted the virus, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Los Angeles has so far reported 662 cases and 11 deaths from the virus.
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