RICHMOND, Va. -- A child in northern Virginia has died of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) linked to COVID-19, officials with the Virginia Department of Health confirmed Friday.
“We are devastated by this sad news, and our hearts go out to the family and friends of this child,” Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver said.
The child was between 10 and 19 years old and lived in the Prince William Health District, which includes Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park, according to the health department. [NOTE: Virginia's COVID deaths are reported in age ranges like 0-9, 10-19, 20-29, etc. to protect privacy. Scroll down for more data on fatalities.]
Officials said no additional info about the death would be released in order to protect the family's privacy.
Officials: If child has MIS-C symptoms, go to nearest hospital/ER
This is the Commonwealth's first confirmed a death from MIS-C, which doctors said typically impacts children four to six weeks after a COVID infection when their immune systems attack the organs of the body.
"MIS-C may cause problems with a child’s heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs," health officials said. "Most children with MIS-C have ongoing fever, plus more than one of the following: stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, bloodshot eyes, and dizziness or lightheadedness."
Parents are urged to go to the nearest hospital/emergency room if their child is showing any severe MIS-C warning signs: trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away, confusion or unusual behavior, severe abdominal pain, inability to wake or stay awake or pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone.
According to the CDC, which issued a Health Advisory about the syndrome on May 14, 2020, there have been more than 5,500 cases of MIS-C in children nationwide and 48 deaths. In Virginia, 111 cases have been reported, according to the health department. The median age for children who experience it is around 9 years old.
Health Commissioner: 'Please get vaccinated'
Dr. Oliver said COVID-19 continues to cause hospitalizations and deaths across Virginia and the U.S.
"As we enter a time of year when families are traveling and gathering for holidays, we urge all Virginians to take steps to protect themselves and their families," Dr. Oliver wrote. "Please get vaccinated if you are eligible. Practice social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face coverings, as appropriate. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and available to anyone age 5 and older at multiple locations across the Commonwealth.”
As of Friday, 14,635 Virginians had died as a result of COVID-19. That includes:
- 6 -- Ages 0-9
- 10 -- Ages 10-19
- 63-- Ages 20-29
- 194 -- Ages 30-39
- 470 -- Ages 40-49
- 1,295 -- Ages 50-59
- 2,594 -- Ages 60-69
- 3,759 -- Ages 70-79
- 6,235 -- Ages 80+
More than 85 percent of the state's coronavirus deaths have been those age 60 or older.
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