Teenage boy with coronavirus dies in U.S., but unclear if virus the cause

Los Angeles County health officials backtracked Tuesday on their announcement that a child died from coronavir…

Los Angeles County health officials backtracked Tuesday on their announcement that a child died from coronavirus, saying it’s possible the death was caused by something else.

During their daily briefing, the county health department said the unidentified child from the city of Lancaster was among four new deaths.

Hours later, after Gov. Gavin Newsom had cited the death of the teenager as evidence the virus can strike anyone, the county issued a new statement.

“Though early tests indicated a positive result for COVID-19, the case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality” and the case will need evaluation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the statement said.

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Lancsaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said a 17-year-old boy had been hospitalized with respiratory problems and died from septic shock, a reaction to a widespread infection that can cause dangerously low blood pressure and organ failure.

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Parris said the boy’s father also has coronavirus and worked in a job where he had close contact with the public.

The mayor said the boy may have had long-term health problems in the past but was healthy recently. He said he doesn’t doubt that the teen died from complications of COVID-19.

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