Canada

Infant dies from COVID-19 at B.C. Children's Hospital

"It reminds us of the vicious nature of this virus," says provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry

Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provide an update on COVID-19 on April 19, 2021.

An infant under two years of age has died from COVID-19 at B.C. Children’s Hospital, becoming the youngest person to die from the disease in Canada.

The provincial health officer said the infant lived in the Fraser Health region but was being treated at the hospital in Vancouver and had another health problem.

“Although this child had pre-existing health conditions that complicated their illness, it was the virus that caused their death,” Henry said. “It reminds us of the vicious nature of this virus.”

There were eight COVID-19 deaths reported over the past three days in B.C. — bringing that total to 1,538 — and 2,960 new cases. The seven-day average daily case count, which had been accelerating, is starting to plateau. Henry said there had been no new health-care facility outbreaks.

Last winter, the first death from COVID-19 in Canada was also reported in B.C., an elderly man living at the Lynn Valley Care Centre.

In January, Henry reported two children aged under five had formed a rare and severe disease called MIS-C after earlier contracting COVID-19. The two were admitted to intensive care due to the disease — described by B.C. Children’s Hospital Dr. Ran Goldman as akin to toxic shock syndrome, where all organs in the body become suddenly inflamed.

MIS-C first appeared last April in children around the world. including Europe, India and Africa, who had earlier contracted COVID-19. It’s not known if the child who died over the weekend in B.C. had contracted MIS-C.

Latest data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows that as of April 3 there had been 52 hospital admissions for people aged under 10 in B.C., and four of those cases were in intensive care. The child’s death is the first in anyone in B.C. under the age of 30.

Henry said there were 9,353 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., with 441 of those cases being treated in hospital, including 138 in intensive care. All these numbers are records.

dcarrigg@postmedia.com

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