Public health officials in California’s Los Angeles County announced what is believed to be the first U.S. death of a patient under 18 years old from the COVID-19 coronavirus on Tuesday.
Officials said that the patient was from the city of Lancaster, located about 70 miles north of the city of Los Angeles. The death was one of four reported in the county on Tuesday, with a total of 11 reported since the pandemic began.
“Tragically, one of the people who died was a person under the age of 18,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer during a news briefing. “A devastating reminder that COVID-19 infects people of all ages.”
A total of 662 cases have been confirmed in the county, with 256 of the cases coming in the last 48 hours. Although severe cases of COVID-19 are more common in the elderly, a majority of those infected have been younger. The county reports about 80 percent of the cases so far have been in people under 65, with the 18-40 demographic being the largest.
“Each loss we experience in LA County is tragic, and we are sending our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones who’ve had to endure this tragedy,” Ferrer said. “COVID-19 does not discriminate by age, race or income level, and what we are seeing in places like New York is indicative of what we should prepare to experience here.”
The more than 2,100 cases reported in California as of Tuesday were dwarfed in comparison to New York, where over 25,000 cases had been confirmed, representing nearly half of the U.S. total.
reached out to the Los Angeles County Public Health for additional information but did not receive a response in time for publication.
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