A Lancaster teen appears to be the first person under age 18 in the country to die from complications associated with the coronavirus.
LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) — A Lancaster teen appears to be the first person under age 18 in the country to die from complications associated with the coronavirus.The 17-year-old died recently while being treated at Antelope Valley Hospital. His father was also infected with the coronavirus but had developed less-severe symptoms, according to Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris.
His father works at a job which involves interaction with the public, Parris noted.”From what I’ve been told his father is an Uber driver,” Parris said. “And his father also has the disease. But it’s not as bad. Which tells us that these people that we see waiting on us in the checkout line, driving Uber cars, they’re risking their lives for us.”
Parris urged all youths in his community to heed stay-at-home guidelines.
“Tomorrow, every kid in this community, they’re grounded,” Parris said. “And their parents can tell them the mayor grounded you. … People have got to stay home. I am not going to lose another child in the city.”
While some indications during the global pandemic have been that people under age 18 have been less severely affected by the virus, Los Angeles County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer noted the death shows nobody is truly immune.
“COVID-19 does not discriminate by age, race or income level,” Ferrer said.County health officials later issued a word of caution about the teen’s death, saying confirmation of the cause remains pending and an alternate explanation remains possible.
“The juvenile fatality that the Los Angeles County Department Public Health reported earlier today will require further evaluation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the county health department said.
“Though early tests indicated a positive result for COVID-19, the case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality. Patient privacy prevents our offering further details at this time.”