A Spokane child died of COVID-19 last week. The child, younger than 10, is the youngest local victim of an illness that has killed more than 600 people in the county.
The Spokane Regional Health District confirmed the death last week and is investigating the case further. The dates of death are preliminary and further review is underway by local and state health officials.
The district did not want to publish any further details about the child other than the cause of death.
The child died early last week, and health district spokeswoman Kelli Hawkins was unsure if the death was related to underlying health conditions or other complications such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome.
The death marks the latest death rate recorded in Spokane County to date from COVID-19. There have been four deaths of residents under the age of 19 from the virus since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Vaccines are not yet available for children under the age of 12, but children have tested increasingly positive for the virus in recent weeks.
More than 300 children under 10 years of age tested positive for COVID-19 nationwide. Residents of Counties 19 and younger accounted for 25% of the confirmed cases in May.
COVID-19 is usually mild in younger children and teenagers, but health professionals have advised parents to still get their children vaccinated if they are eligible.
Although rare, there have been cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome related to children who tested positive for the virus in Washington. None of these cases resulted in death in Washington, but 35 children nationwide have died of multisystem inflammation syndrome as a result of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
“We know that COVID is a real threat in children, most people think it is asymptomatic, but since mid-May we have had over 3,700 cases of serious illness MIS in children and 35 known deaths from this condition related to COVID -Infection – no vaccination, “said Dr. Shireesha Dhanireddy told reporters during a state press conference last week.
There were 3,742 confirmed cases of MIS nationwide, and in Washington there were 49 confirmed cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children across the state as of late April, including two confirmed cases in Spokane County. However, none of these cases resulted in death.
Here’s a look at local numbers:
On Tuesday, the Spokane Regional Health District confirmed 87 new COVID-19 cases. The district confirmed 246 new cases over the long weekend.
There are currently 61 people hospitalized with the virus in Spokane.
After adjusting the data, there are 643 confirmed deaths among residents of the county due to COVID-19. Case numbers are still being influenced by backward data flowing into local records from the state.
Panhandle Health District confirmed 77 new cases on Tuesday and the long weekend, but no more deaths.
There are 33 panhandle residents who have been hospitalized with the virus.
Arielle Dreher’s coverage of The Spokesman Review is funded in part by Report for America and members of the Spokane community. This story can be published for free by other organizations under a Creative Commons license. You can get more information on this from our newspaper Editor-in-chief.