Illinois health officials announce first death of an infant due to coronavirus

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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported on Sunday the death of an infant younger than one year in Chicago who tested positive for coronavirus disease.

“There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant. A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

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“We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us.”

Coronavirus and age group

For the COVID-19 virus, initial data indicates that children are less affected than adults and that clinical attack rates in the 0-19 age group are low, according to the World Health Organization.

Further preliminary data from household transmission studies in China suggest that children are infected from adults, rather than vice versa.

Meanwhile, senior citizens are undoubtedly the hardest hit by the coronavirus. In China, 80 percent of deaths were among people in their 60s or older, and that general trend is playing out elsewhere.

The graying of the population means some countries face particular risk. Italy has the world’s second oldest population after Japan. While death rates fluctuate wildly early in an outbreak, Italy has reported more than 80 percent of deaths so far were among those 70 or older.

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