Houston city officials announced on Wednesday that the death of a little girl this past October is the city’s youngest confirmed pediatric COVID-19 death on record.
According to the city, the child was under the age of 10, Black, and had underlying health conditions. Genomic sequencing did not identify the variant of the virus that infected her.
Other information about the child was not made available due to privacy laws, the city said.
However, with identifying the distinction of the girl’s death, the city said it is trying to drive home that the coronavirus, especially amid the highly-contagious omicron variant, can lead to serious illnesses among children.
“While most children who get COVID-19 recover, this tragedy is an example of how our youngest can get seriously ill and lose their lives to this disease,” said Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer for the City of Houston. “Children who have underlying conditions are especially vulnerable to poor outcomes from COVID-19, especially when it comes to the possibility of co-infection with other respiratory illnesses.”
The city already counted that seven COVID-19 deaths in Houston were among people ages 10 to 19 years old. Through Wednesday, the city has counted 3,978 confirmed COVID-19 deaths over the course of the pandemic.
The city is also sending a reminder about COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, adding that nearly all coronavirus deaths in the state are among those who were not fully vaccinated.
People ages 5 and up are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine while people ages 18 and up are eligible for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Booster shots are available to people ages 12 and up.
The city did not disclose whether the child was vaccinated at the time of her death.