An infant younger than one year old died after testing positive for coronavirus

mmark@businessinsider.com (Michelle Mark)
Testing tent outside of Norwegian American Hospital in Humboldt Park on Chicago's west side, in Chicago, United States, on March 26, 2020.

Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • An infant in Illinois died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, health officials announced Saturday.
  • The director of the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement there has "never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant."
  • Health officials said they were investigating the death.
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An infant in Illinois not even a year old has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, health officials announced Saturday.

The child, from Cook County, is the youngest person to die of the virus in the United States.

Health officials said an investigation into the child's death was underway.

"There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant," Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in a statement. " 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."

Children have so far not exhibited a higher risk for COVID-19 than adults, according to the US Centers for Disease Control. Elderly patients and people with underlying medical conditions, however, have a much higher risk for severe illness. 

Also on Saturday, Illinois health officials reported 13 new deaths — most in their 70s, 80s, and 90s — and 465 new cases of COVID-19.

In total, Illinois has reported 3,491 cases and 47 deaths, with ages ranging from younger than one to 99 years old.

Across the United States, officials reported 119,748 coronavirus cases and 1,991 deaths as of Saturday afternoon.

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