Second child this week in eastern Virginia dies from COVID-19, VDH reports

Posted at 11:49 AM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 18:16:52-04

A child between the ages of 0 and 9 died due to COVID-19 complications, the Virginia Department of Health confirmed.

The child's identity has not been released to protect their family's privacy.

The child's death comes after a 10-year-old Suffolk girl died from COVID-19 complications this week. Teresa Sperry, a fifth grader at Hillpoint Elementary School, died at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters Monday after a five-day battle with COVID-19.

Although health experts say complications from COVID-19 in children is relatively rare, a 17-year-old girl in Norfolk also died from COVID-19 complications in August.

While hospitalization rates for children 11 years old or younger are at the highest rate since the pandemic began, according to the CDC, health experts say severe complications from COVID-19 in children are relatively rare.

"First, I would reassure parents and say that the incidence of severe disease in children is extremely, extremely low," Dr. Danny Avula told WTVR-TV in Richmond.

"So, while kids are seeing higher rates of COVID infection, it is very rare that they develop severe disease."

Dr. Avula encouraged parents to vaccinate their children who are eligible to get the vaccine.

"And then I think reminding our kids that COVID is still out there and that while most kids will do fine, there are a small percentage of kids who will develop more severe disease," he continued. "So, continuing to encourage mask wearing certainly in schools where it's required but even when you go to a restaurant or the grocery store or some public setting, having our younger kids wear masks is a really important part of protecting them."

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