Death of juvenile in California from coronavirus believed to be first in US of someone that age

By  | 

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- A Los Angeles County resident is believed to be the first juvenile to have died from the novel coronavirus in the United States.

The person lived in Lancaster, California, according to county officials. Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer told CNN the person, under the age of 18, was not a small child.

It is unclear how the person contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, she said.

Coronavirus-related deaths in children remain relatively rare.

"In the mortality data that has been provided to us, there has been no child under 15 that has succumbed to the virus in Europe," Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, said during a briefing Monday. "There was the one 14-year-old in China. So we still see that there is less severity in children, and so that should be reassuring to the moms and dads out there."

According to studies, two children, a 10-month-old infant and a 14-year-old boy, died in China after being infected with the novel coronavirus.

The 10-month-old infant who died had a preexisting condition. The child experienced multi-organ failure and died four weeks after being admitted to a hospital in Wuhan, according to research published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The 14-year-old boy from Hubei province died February 7. No further details were available on his death, which was reported in a study published last week in Pediatrics that looked at 2,143 children with confirmed or suspected coronavirus.