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Yuma County announces first pediatric COVID-19 related death in Arizona

Post Date:05/07/2020 5:00 PM

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken the life of a Yuma County child under the age of 18. It is the first pediatric death in the State of Arizona. The child had multiple serious underlying medical conditions.

"It is our deepest regret to share the news of the first COVID-19-related pediatric death in Arizona,” said Diana Gomez, Director of the Yuma County Public Health District. "News like this not only resonates within the health community, but with every resident. We are heartbroken and extend our deepest sympathy to the child’s friends and family. To protect the family’s privacy during this incredibly difficult time, no further information regarding the child will be released.”

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Important preventive steps include the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay at home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Consider wearing cloth face coverings, if it can be safely managed, in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Maintain physical distancing activity guidance.
  • Launder items, including washable plush toys, as appropriate and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.

The Illness can be severe and require hospitalization, but most individuals recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids, and taking pain and fever-reducing medications. These symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Difficulty getting enough air
  • Chest pain
  • Change in alertness or responsiveness
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Rapid breathing

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

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