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Infant with COVID-19 dies, cause of death unknown

A microscope image shows the virus that causes COVID-19.
A microscope image shows the virus that causes COVID-19.

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois infant with COVID-19 has died, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Saturday. The cause of death is unknown and an investigation is underway.

A state employee also was among 13 new deaths reported Saturday, as Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike urged people to do all they can to prevent the spread of the virus.

“If you haven’t been paying attention, maybe this is your wake-up call,” Ezike said.

The risk of death and severe illness from COVID-19 is greater for older adults and people with other health problems. In most cases, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization.

Children have made up a small fraction of coronavirus cases worldwide. A letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Chinese researchers earlier this month reported the death of a 10-month-old with COVID-19. The infant had a bowel blockage and organ failure, and died four weeks after being hospitalized.

Separate research published in the journal Pediatrics traced 2,100 infected children in China and noted one death, a 14-year old. The study found less than 6% of children were seriously ill.