The first death of a minor who tested positive for coronavirus in New York City was reported Monday, as the city’s death toll rose to 790. Like the majority of those who have died from COVID-19, the minor had an underlying health condition.
While the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been among people above 18-years-old, this is not the first U.S. death of a minor.
Health officials in Los Angeles County announced what was reportedly the first known death of someone under 18 who tested positive on March 24 (though health officials later stated an alternative cause of death for the 17-year-old from Lancaster, Calif. was possible and they asked the CDC to investigate). Two days later, the Louisiana department of health announced the death of a 17-year-old in Orleans Parish with coronavirus. On Saturday, an infant in Chicago died after testing positive for the coronavirus, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced at a press conference, thought the exact cause of death was under investigation.
The CDC’s first preliminary analysis of deaths among COIVD-19 patients was published on March 18, using data from two days before. At the time, there were no reported deaths in the country among minors. Eighty percent of deaths occurred among adults age 65 or older, with the highest percentage of severe outcomes among persons age 85 or older. The findings reflected similar data from China.
The CDC has not released an updated analysis of deaths since the deaths of minors were reported in the country. In the two weeks since that report, the number of cases and deaths in the country has skyrocketed.
The vast majority of people who have died from coronavirus had underlying conditions, according to the CDC. New York City’s numbers reflect that as well. Of the 790 people who have died from COVID-19 in New York City, all but 13 had underlying conditions. The city department of health’s definition of “underlying conditions” includes diabetes, lung disease, cancer, immunodeficiency, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, kidney disease, and GI/liver disease.