Chicago infant died of coronavirus, pneumonia: report

An infant in Chicago died in March due in part to the coronavirus, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Wednesday, reports say.

The family of 9-month-old Joseph Myles said he had a cold and cough. He was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital on March 23, Chicago’s WGNTV reported.

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“If you haven’t been paying attention, maybe this is your wake-up call,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health, said in March when the death was first announced.

The medical examiner’s office verified the infant died due to viral pneumonia from coronavirus NL-63 and COVID-19 infection. The manner of death is natural, the outlet wrote.

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Two nasal swabs conducted after the baby died led to conflicting results, which prompted further investigation. The hospital administered the first swab, which detected COVID-19, while the second swab done at the medical examiner’s office did not.

The swabs, as well as lung and laryngeal tissue samples, were then sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], according to the outlet. The CDC reportedly informed the medical examiner's office on June 5 that “there was molecular evidence of COVID-19 in the lungs but not the larynx."

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When news of the infant’s death first arose in late March, Chicago Gov. J. B. Pritzker reportedly reiterated that experts said mortality risk is “very low” among children with COVID-19.