4-year-old child dies of COVID-19 in Riverside County

Rob McMillan Image
Saturday, August 28, 2021
4-year-old child dies of COVID-19 in Riverside County
A 4-year-old child with no underlying health issues has died from COVID in Riverside County, becoming the youngest in the county to die from the virus since the pandemic began.

RIVERSIDE COUNTY (KABC) -- A 4-year-old child from western Riverside County has died from COVID-19, becoming the youngest person in the county to die from the virus since the pandemic began.

Officials say the child did not have any underlying health issues.

The child died during the first week of August, but health officials reported the cause of death this week after receiving confirmation from the coroner's office. The child's name and city of residence were not released.

Authorities say the child was in the hospital for only a few days before dying.

"Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the family, friends and others who are impacted by the death of this child," said Dr. Geoffrey Leung, public health officer for Riverside County. "This tragedy reminds us that this virus does not discriminate between the young and old. The death of this child strengthens our commitment to halt this pandemic before the loss of another young life."

Children under 12 are not yet eligible for the COVID vaccines.

According to health officials, there have been 4,727 COVID-19-related deaths in Riverside County since the start of the pandemic. The vast majority of the deaths have involved those over 30 years of age, but there have been a handful of teens and young adults who have died from the virus - some with underlying health issues.

"Some of the younger people that we've lost did have underlying conditions. This child did not. So it makes it even more ominous when something like this happens," said Jose Arballo with the Riverside University Health System. "What can happen if a healthy child gets this virus and what can happen? Clearly it's a rare thing, but it does tell you that it can happen, and that we need to do everything we can to protect our young people here in this county."

"It is simply heartbreaking that COVID-19 has taken the life of someone so young. My thoughts and deepest condolences are with the child's family at this most difficult time," said Supervisor Karen Spiegel, Chair of the Board. "This loss reminds us all that protecting those in our community not yet eligible for vaccinations, including children under 12, should be our top priority."

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