Baby dies after being infected with COVID, becomes youngest person to die from virus in Riverside County - Market News
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Baby dies after being infected with COVID, becomes youngest person to die from virus in Riverside County

Baby dies after being infected with COVID, becomes youngest person to die from virus in Riverside County

A baby from southwestern Riverside County died this week after contracting COVID-19, becoming the youngest person in the county to die from the virus, health officials announced Thursday.

The child was less than 1 year old and died earlier this week at a local hospital, where he or she was admitted after falling ill, the Riverside County Public Health Department said in a press release.

The identity of the child is withheld, as is the place of residence. It is also unclear whether the child had any underlying health problems.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the parents, family and others affected by this tragedy,” said Geoffrey Leung, a county health official. “This loss reminds us that this virus does not distinguish between young and old.”

Leung said the child’s death “reinforces our commitment to end this pandemic before another young life is lost. It demonstrates the importance of using the tools available to protect those around us, especially the most innocent, from the damage the virus can do.”

The previous youngest death from the virus in Riverside County was a 4-year-old child who died in August.

Health officials say there have been more than 5,600 COVID-19-related deaths in Riverside County since the pandemic began. The vast majority of deaths involved people over the age of 30, but a handful of teens and young adults have also died from the virus — some with underlying health conditions.

Health officials have reported that infants under the age of 1 may be at higher risk for serious illness with COVID-19 than older children. This is likely due to their immature immune systems and smaller airways, making them more likely to have respiratory problems with respiratory viral infections.