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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Infant is youngest person to die of COVID-19 in Southern California county

An infant in southwest Riverside County has died of COVID-19, Riverside County health officials announced Thursday, Jan.

A news release said the newborn, who was less than 1 year old, died earlier this week at a hospital the baby had gone to after falling ill. It was not known on Thursday whether the child had any underlying health conditions, the release said.

The infant, whose name and city of residence are not being released, is the youngest person to die of the virus in Riverside County.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the parents, family and others affected by this tragedy,” County Health Officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung said in the release. “This loss reminds us that this virus does not discriminate between young and old.”

Leung said the child’s death “reflects the importance of using the tools available to protect those around us, especially the most innocent, from harm caused by the virus.”

There have been more than 5,600 COVID-19-related deaths in Riverside County, county officials said. Most of the deaths were among those over the age of 30. Some teens and young adults – some with underlying health conditions – have also died from the virus.

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“It is devastating to learn of the passing of this infant life,” Jeff Hewitt, chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, said in the release. “We have a long road ahead of us as we navigate this pandemic and it is the loss of life that reminds us of the challenges we face.”

Earlier, the youngest death in Riverside County was a 4-year-old from West Riverside County, who died in August.

Infants under the age of 1 may be at higher risk of serious illness from the virus than older children, officials said in the release, “due to the immature immune system and smaller airways, which allow them to breathe with respiratory virus infections.” are more likely to develop the problem of

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