More details released on 7-year-old Georgia boy’s coronavirus death

The entrance of Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, where a 7-year-old boy died from the coronavirus. (AJC Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

An initial investigation suggests that the 7-year-old Savannah boy listed as the youngest Georgian to die from coronavirus had a fever-fueled seizure while in the bathtub and drowned, a local official told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Chatham County Coroner Bill Wessinger confirmed previous reports from Savannah media regarding the boy’s death, which was included in the state’s daily coronavirus report on Thursday. The boy, whose identity has not been released, actually died about two weeks before that, Wessinger said.

There are often delays in confirming and reporting COVID-19 deaths to the state Department of Health.

ExploreGeorgia child, 7, dies of coronavirus as state's death toll surpasses 4,000

Wessinger cautioned that the full results of a Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy are still pending and may be a long time coming. But he said preliminary investigation suggests COVID-19 gave the boy a fever, which triggered a seizure that happened to occur while he was bathing.

Febrile seizures are not uncommon in young children and can be brought on by a number of illnesses and infections.

The boy was unresponsive before being taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A rapid COVID-19 test conducted at the hospital came up positive, Wessinger said.

The boy was not believed to have had any pre-existing conditions.

“Every COVID-19 death we report is tragic, but to lose someone so young is especially heart-breaking,” Dr. Lawton Davis, director of the Coastal Health District, said in a statement released after the child’s death. “We know that older individuals and those with underlying conditions are at higher risk of complications, but this is a disease everyone should take seriously.”

As of Saturday afternoon, Georgia had confirmed more than 213,000 cases of COVID-19 and reported 4,186 deaths.

Prior to the death of the young boy in Savannah, the state’s youngest fatality was a 17-year-old from Fulton County.

About two-thirds of the Georgians who have died were 70 or older.

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