Ste-Justice Hospital in Montreal on Wednesday confirmed that a 16-year-old boy has died of COVID-19. According to the hospital, the patient died on 3rd April. Florence Meney, the hospital spokesperson in a statement, noted that young people who die of COVID-19 is generally due to other primary chronic conditions.
However, Meney did not provide further detail on the boy’s health before his death due to privacy concerns. The teen is now the youngest person in Quebec to die from COVID-19 complications. A 19-year-old boy had been the youngest person to die of COVID-19 in Quebec. Don Beni Kabangu Nsapu died on 16th August, 2020 at Pierre-Le Gardeur Hospital in Terrebonne.
As the new variants become more rampant, young people are also becoming victims of the pandemic. Dr. Mylene Drouin, Montreal public health director, also acknowledged that young people are less likely to get sick than older adults, even with variants.
“We know that the variant is circulating in daycares and schools. Simultaneously, even with variants, we see that children have a less severe form of the illness. When we see a severe form, in a young person, often they have comorbidities, so they have other chronic illness that makes them more vulnerable for those form.”
Though Mylene wanted to assure parents that schools are safe, doctors in Ontario are reporting relatively young patients getting very sick with the new variants. But the majority of young patients are in their 30s and 40s.
A more lethal case was reported in March when a two-year-old was hospitalized with COVID-19 complications at the Bas-St-Laurent region. At that time, there were no data that showed that new variants were dangerous to children.
Still, there is no evidence that new variants are dangerous to children. What is already known is that they are more transmissible. Dr. Caroline Quach, Quebec public health expert and pediatrician, says that surveillance is necessary at this time to determine whether they have more complications.
“They are more transmissible, which does not mean that we will have more complications. Surveillance of outcomes is necessary and with time, we will know. But right now, it doesn’t seem to be that way.”