7-Week-Old Baby Dies Of COVID-19 In Connecticut, World's Youngest Victim

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Studies suggest that pregnant women might be influenced by medical myths on social media. Amanda Mills/ Pixnio

A newborn in Connecticut has become the first baby -- and the youngest person anywhere in the world -- confirmed to have died from COVID-19. This baby is only the fourth person under 18 years-old anywhere in the world known to have died from COVID-19 since the first disease death was reported in China in December 2019.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont broke the news about the death of the 7 week-old baby. The baby's family is from Hartford, the third most infected county in the state after Fairfield and New Haven.

Lamont tweeted: “It is with heartbreaking sadness today that we can confirm the first pediatric fatality in Connecticut linked to ‪ #COVID19. A 6-week-old newborn from t he Hartford area was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived."

It was later confirmed the newborn was 7-weeks old.

Lamont said Connecticut has the fourth largest number of COVID-19 infections per capita in the U.S., behind New York, New Jersey, and Louisiana. As of Tuesday afternoon, Lamont said Connecticut had more than 3,000 coronavirus cases and 69 deaths, based on data from the Department of Public Health. The death toll increased to 85 while confirmed cases have risen to 3,557 on Wednesday.

What's more distressing about the pediatric death is it's the only one of its kind in the world confirmed to have been caused by the coronavirus since the pandemic began in Hubei province in China in December 2019. U.S. health officials have long warned SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), the virus that causes COVID-19, infects people of all ages and doesn't target the elderly. The death of this baby due to complications arising from COVID-19 is a grim proof of that warning.

Last week, the revelation of the death from COVID-19 of a person under 18 years old by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) was met with surprise by the medical community on account of data showing the disease mainly spares the young.

“One individual was a youth under the age of 18, and two other individuals were between 50-70 years old," said LACDPH director Barbara Ferrer. “The individual under the age of 18 resided in Lancaster."

“This is a devastating reminder that COVID-19 affects people of all ages,” said Ferrer of the death of the young person.

Doctors, especially epidemiologists, have long said older people in general are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. The LA teen was only the third person under 19 to die from the disease out of the more than 47,000 fatalities worldwide highlights the threat COVID-19 poses to the entire population and its unpredictability.

The two other confirmed deaths of younger people are that of a 14-year-old boy in China and a Spaniard between the age of 10 and 19. An extensive review of 44,672 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients in China published in early March found no deaths occurred among anyone younger than 10.

U.S. health officials also share the conventional wisdom young children are at lesser risk than older people for contracting SARS-CoV-2. One possible reason why babies, toddlers and young children haven't been critically threatened is because of their immature immune systems.

Doctors say an undeveloped immune system might prevent the body from triggering inflammation severe enough to result in pneumonia, septic shock and organ failure.