DES MOINES, Iowa — On Sunday, the Iowa Department of Public Health confirmed that a child died of COVID-19 in June. The department said the child, who was under the age of five, previously suffered from “significant underlying health conditions.”
The death of a child from COVID-19 is rare in the United States. An American Academy of Pediatrics report released August 13th found that 20 states had reported zero deaths involving children from COVID-19.
This is the first reported death of an Iowa child due to COVID-19. The health department said that the State Medical Examiner completed the investigation of the child’s death on August 6th and that it waited to report the child’s death until Sunday “after ensuring the individual’s identity would be protected and notifying the family.”
“We have made every effort to protect the identity of the child, while the family grieves this devastating loss. Again, we send our sincerest condolences,” stated the email from the health department.
The health department did not specify the child’s gender, age, city of residence, specific underlying health conditions or detail when or how the child may have contracted the virus.
The Center for Disease Control reports that the most common underlying health conditions in children who have become infected with COVID-19 include obesity, chronic lung disease and premature birth.
The state’s website, coronavirus.iowa.gov, shows that 89 percent of deaths caused by COVID-19 involved Iowans older than 60 years of age.