Child Dies of COVID in 'Tragic' but 'Rare' Case: 'This Virus Is Dangerous'

A girl under the age of 10 from Winnipeg, Canada, has died due to COVID-19, Manitoba province health officials said on Sunday.

The news was released in the Canadian province's daily COVID bulletin, in which 97 new cases of the disease were reported.

Winnipeg-based epidemiologist Cynthia Carr, founder of EPI Research Inc., told CityNews that the death of the girl was the 13th COVID-19 fatality in a person below the age of 19 in Canada.

This means that the fatality rate for this age group in the country is around 0.05 percent.

"It's so rare in fact that even Health Canada in their weekly surveillance reports—when they report deaths for example by age group—the age group cluster is actually under 19," Carr told CityNews. "They don't even report weekly the numbers of deaths under the age of 10 because it's so rare."

"One death for this little girl here in from the Winnipeg region is certainly absolutely tragic, but also very rare. And unfortunately, very rare events do happen," Carr said. "It's a tragic situation and reminds us that this virus is dangerous. It's killed over 26,000 Canadians, it's killed over 1,100 Manitobans and made other many many thousands more very very sick in hospital, and many more taking a long time to recover from this virus."

The Manitoba COVID-19 bulletin did provide any details on the child's exact age and whether or not she had any underlying conditions. It is also not clear if she had had been infected with a variant of concern.

"What has changed with these variants of concern is their enhanced ability to transmit," Carr said. "They're getting better and better at latching onto our cells and getting in, getting more efficient at creating more and more copies once they're in, and then some are getting even better at starting to be able to evade our immune response."

Newsweek has contacted the Manitoba provincial government for comment.

Children infected with COVID-19 are less likely to develop severe illnesses compared to adults. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the hospitalization of children for COVID-19-related illnesses is low compared to adults in the United States.

But the agency says that children with certain underlying medical conditions and infants younger than one years old may be at increased risk of severe illness from SARS-CoV-2 infections.

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A coronavirus particle
Artist's illustration of a coronavirus particle. A girl under the age of 10 has died due to COVID-19 in Manitoba province, Canada. iStock