COVID-19

Perfectly healthy baby dies of COVID-19

COVID-19 claimed its youngest victim in Quebec, a baby less than two months old who breathed his last at Sainte-Justine hospital on Thursday.

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The establishment announced the terrible news Friday night in a press release. The child, whose sex was not specified, was “in good health at birth,” said the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center (CHU).

He was recently hospitalized in intensive care after contracting COVID-19 before succumbing Thursday. The hospital center did not communicate other details.

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According to the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec, this is the first person under the age of 9 to succumb to COVID-19 in Quebec. The youngest identified was a 16-year-old adolescent, who died in April, who presented significant comorbidities.

Julie St-Pierre, pediatrician

Photo Pierre-Paul Poulin

Julie St-Pierre, pediatrician

“It’s terrible,” replied pediatrician Julie St-Pierre, who works primarily in intensive care for babies at the McGill University Health Center. I find it dreadful. I have no words for the situation parents are going through right now. “

At risk

Until about two months of age, young children have not fully developed their antibodies, making them more vulnerable to various diseases, she says.

“It is the most fragile, the barrier with the brain, it is very small. It is very easy for viruses and bacteria to enter the meninges and trigger very serious inflammatory reactions ”, adds Dr. St-Pierre.

However, so far few young children have been seriously affected by COVID-19. The CHU Saint-Justine did not reveal whether the boy had a variant.

“The thing to fear right now is really […] let it be the Omicron, ”he said.

Booster vaccine

At this time, the exact effects of the Omicron variant are yet to be determined, except for the fact that it is highly contagious.

This variant of the disease would be more virulent than others for young people under the age of 5, according to scientists from South Africa, according to The Daily Beast.

After 60 years and older, this age group would be the second to stand out in hospitalizations, according to the site.

This death confirms the importance of promptly vaccinating young people aged 5 and under, believes André Veillette, a researcher in immunology.

“It shows that everyone – adults, children, the elderly, everyone is vulnerable to this virus,” says Mr. Veillette.

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