Umatilla County infant succumbs to COVID-19

Kadlec, Pasco
Image Credit: Kadlec

UMATILLA COUNTY, Oreg. — According to a press release issued by Umatilla County Public Health (UCo Health), an infant boy passed away due to complications with COVID-19 at the Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

UCo Health officials say that the infant had underlying medical conditions that contributed to his passing. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on January 17 and passed away on the same day. This marks the 18th death attributed to the coronavirus in Umatilla County thus far.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown released a statement in response to the loss of this small child:

“We have all worked together for nearly a year in Oregon to protect the lives of those we hold most dear,” Gov. Brown said. “The loss of a life so young is an indescribable tragedy for a family. Dan and I send our thoughts and condolences to the mother and family of this child, whose grief must be unimaginable in this moment. The hearts of all Oregonians are with you today.”

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Oregon Health Authority’s and a state epidemiologist, Dr. Dean Sidelinger issued the following statement regarding this tragedy:

“Every death from COVID-19 is a tragedy, even more so the death of a child,” Dr. Sidelinger said. “The death of an infant is extremely rare. This news represents a tremendous loss to the mother and family. My thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”

He added that generally, children are a lot less likely to develop severe symptoms associated with COVID-19 compares with adults. Even with that being the case, coronavirus infections in small children have to be taken seriously — Especially for children with underlying health conditions.

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The following symptoms are signs that a child infected with COVID-19 need to seek urgent medical attention:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away
  • New confusion
  • Being unable to wake up or stay awake when not tired
  • Bluish lips or face

Public health officials ask that the community is respectful of the family during this trying time. Counseling and crisis support services are just a call away. Umatilla County residents who need help can reach Lifeways at 866-343-4473.

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