Over 38,000 cases have been reported in those under the age of 18. That’s about 13% of all COVID-19 cases statewide, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
The authority’s senior health advisor Dr. Bukhosi Dube says young people are being infected with the delta variant, a stubbornly infectious mutation of the coronavirus.
He noted the death of an infant boy from Douglas County who tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 20 and died on Labor Day. The baby, who was under one year old, had underlying conditions.
“As a parent, I can say that this very sad. No parent should ever have to bury their child. I feel for those parents,” he said. “My heart aches for those parents and I’m very, very sorry for your loss.”
According to OHA, the infant is the third COVID-19 related death of an Oregonian under the age of 18.
Dube said there are symptoms to watch for in very young children, especially those who can’t talk yet: Fever, lethargy, runny nose, extreme fatigue, and if detectable, the loss of taste or smell. A COVID-19 test should be sought as soon as these symptoms appear, the internist physician said.