Health officials in Riverside County on Thursday confirmed the death of a COVID-19-infected infant – the youngest to die of the disease since the coronavirus hit, ABC7 reported.
County public health officer, Dr. Geoffrey Leung, expressed the county’s sympathies through a statement.
“Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the parents, family, and others who are impacted by this tragedy,” part of his statement reads. “This loss reminds us that this virus does not discriminate between the young and old.”
The less than 1-year-old infant was from southwest Riverside County, officials said.
The child, whose identity was not divulged, was brought to the hospital after getting sick.
Leung said that the infant’s death “strengthens our commitment to end this pandemic before the loss of another young life,” Leung said. “It shows the importance of using the tools available to protect those around us, particularly the most innocent, from the harm the virus can cause.”
Since early 2020, Riverside County has recorded over 5, 600 deaths due to COVID-19, the Riverside University Health System said.
While most of the deaths are recorded among people aged 30 years old and above, a news release said that “there have been a handful of teens and young adults who have died from the virus – some with underlying health issues.”
Officials said it is still undetermined whether the infant suffered from any preexisting conditions.
“It is devastating to learn about the passing of this infant life. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family,” county Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff Hewitt said. “We have a long road ahead of us as we navigate this pandemic and it’s the loss of life that reminds us about the challenges we face.”