Health officials are warning the public once again that coronavirus does not just affect the elderly as there have been several new cases of young people dying from the infection.
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia University's Center for Infection and Immunity, joined Fox News on Tuesday to speak about the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of his segment, he revealed that he too had just tested positive himself, saying: "I would just like to say on this show tonight that this has become very personal for me, too, because I have COVID as of yesterday," he said. "And it is miserable. ... If it can hit me, it can hit anybody. That's the message I want to convey."
When he was asked if he knows where he contracted the infection, Lipkin said that he had and idea but that it, "doesn't matter" because "this virus is all over the United States."
A young boy, 17, in Lancaster, California has also recently died after contracting COVID-19. The Mayor of Lancaster, R. Rex Parris said the boy had been hospitalized with respiratory problems before dying from septic shock, a reaction to a widespread infection that can result in fatally low blood pressure and organ failure.
The mayor confirmed that the boy’s father also has COVID-19 and worked in a job where he had close contact with the public, according to ABC News.
“We’re the first city in the nation to lose a child and that is unbearable to me,” said the mayor.
Parris said the boy might have had long-term health problems in the past however he was in good health. All the signs point to the teen dying from complications from COVID-19.
Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, cited the death of the teenager as evidence that coronavirus can strike anyone in a statement, writing, “Though early tests indicated a positive result for COVID-19, the case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality" and the case will be investigated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the statement said.
Chloe Middleton, a young woman, 21, in the UK also passed away after contracting coronavirus despite having no underlying health conditons. She is believed to be the youngest person in the UK to have died from this infection, according to The Sun.
Middleton's family said her death should act as a wake-up call for people to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.
Her mother, Diane Middleton wrote on Facebook: “To all the people out there who think it's just a virus please think again.
“Speaking from a personal experience this so-called virus has taken the life of my 21-year-old daughter.”
Emily Mistry, an aunt of Chloe, wrote on Facebook: “My beautiful, kind hearted 21 year old niece Chloe has passed away from Covid-19. SHE HAD NO UNDERLYING HEALTH ISSUES... My loved ones are going through the most unimaginable pain, we are shattered beyond belief."
The Wold Health Organization, medical professionals, and politicians are urging the public to take this pandemic more seriously and to practice social distancing and appropriate hygiene measures at this time.
As of Wednesday morning there have been almost 20,000 deaths as a result of COVID-19 and over 440,000 confirmed cases.