Child under 5 years old dies from COVID in Mississippi, state says

JACKSON, Miss. — A child under the age of 5 is dead from COVID-19 in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Health said this is the 6th child death in the state so far.

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Right now, health leaders are not releasing information about where the child is from or if the child is a boy or girl.

Dr. Sandy Arnold, the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Le Bonheur said the Delta Variant is more contagious. She said last year children with COVID-19 would have asymptomatic infections but now they are getting sicker.

”We are concerned that we have not seen the peak of the surge yet and some of these cases will be in children,” said Dr. Arnold.

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Dr. Arnold believes we will see an increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases because the Delta variant is more contagious and some children are unmasked in Mississippi schools. She said the sickest children in the hospital are over the age of 10 with underlying conditions.

”It’s really the children who are obese who are getting the sickest but also children who have an inability to clear their lungs very well, children with cerebral palsy,” said Dr. Arnold.

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Dr. Arnold said young children can also get COVID-19, even children who are just weeks old. She said while some of the patients get fevers and recover quickly others don’t.

In Mississippi, a child under the age of 5 died from COVID-19 bringing the state’s total number of pediatric COVID-19 deaths to 6.

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital treated 2 of those 6 patients .State Epidemiologist Paul Byers emphasizes children need to get vaccinated if they are eligible.

”Unfortunately some children who are infected with COVID will have more severe complications that will require more intensive care although the majority of children recover,” said Dr. Byers.

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Overall, Dr. Arnold said she is bracing for more patients from Memphis, Arkansas and Mississippi as the school year continues.

”It’s a whole new ball game this year with the more contagious virus and potentially exacerbated by some families not wanting to have their children wear masks in schools,” said Dr. Arnold.

Dr. Arnold said sometimes children will get admitted to the hospital weeks later with the Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome. This causes organs to inflame and can even cause comas