CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. — A 7-year-old boy from the Savannah area has become the youngest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Georgia.
The Department of Public Health released the information Thursday afternoon in its daily coronavirus update. The department has not released much information about the boy, only that he is African American and had no underlying conditions.
Dr. Carolyn Smallwood, a family physician with Wellstar Health System, said the boy’s death serves as a tragic reminder that there’s still much to learn about the virus’s impact on children.
“I feel heartbroken and so sad that somebody so young had to die from COVID,” Smallwood said. “The majority of COVID cases in pediatric patients are mild, and while that is encouraging we don’t know the full spectrum of implications.”
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The Coastal Health Department didn’t release much information about the boy’s death as well, but did tell Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon in a statement:
“Every COVID-19 death we report is tragic, but to lose someone so young is especially heart-breaking. We know that older individuals and those with underlying conditions are at higher risk of complications, but this is a disease everyone should take seriously.”
Smallwood said symptoms in children are often similar to adults, and so are the ways they can help slow the spread.
“One of the greatest ways that we know to decrease the spread is mask, to mask, hand washing and social distancing,” Smallwood said.
Up until now the youngest victim of COVID-19 was a 17-year-old Fulton County boy who died in May.
As of Thursday, 4,026 Georgians have died of the virus and nearly 205,000 have been infected.