Houston, TX

Houston's first pediatric COVID-19 death with no underlying medical conditions confirmed by the health department

Marisol Gallagher

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HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Health Department has announced the confirmation of the death of a Houston boy between the ages of 10 and 19 as the city’s first child death due to COVID-19 with no underlying health conditions. Previously, six children died with underlying health conditions due to COVID-19.

The child was white and unvaccinated for COVID-19, he died in late July at a Houston hospital. Although he tested positive for COVID-19, it is still unknown whether he was infected with a variant of the virus. The health department is prevented by privacy laws from providing other identifiable information.

Mayor Sylvester Turner extended his condolences on behalf of the City of Houston to the boy’s family, noting that losing a loved one is difficult in any case, and even more so in a time when such a thing can be prevented by slowing the spread of the virus and save lives. He further encouraged all eligible residents ages 12 and older to receive their vaccination shots and wear a mask in large crowds or situations where socially distancing is not possible.

Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people age 12 and above, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people age 18 and above. Getting vaccinated is the best course of action to help slow the spread of the virus while also preventing serious illness, hospitalization, as well as death.

Getting vaccinated is free and residents do not need to show ID, proof of residency, citizenship, or insurance to get their doses. With the Delta variant rapidly spreading around the globe, the health department is urging everyone to get vaccinated and wear face coverings.

Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer of the CIty of Houston, said that the boy’s death is a tragedy, and it serves as a reminder that children can get seriously ill and die from COVID-19 even without underlying medical conditions. He went on to say that getting vaccinated is not just about protecting yourself, but also protecting everyone around you.

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