14-year-old boy dies from complications of COVID-19 infection
MILWAUKEE - A 14-year-old Hispanic boy, Alex Hernandez, died from complications of infection with the coronavirus, officials with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office confirm.
It is the first reported pediatric death caused by the virus in Milwaukee.
The medical examiner's office said the teen tested positive for COVID-19 in November before passing away on Thursday, April 1.
Officials indicated in reports released on Friday that the victim's infection remained active -- and he tested positive on March 27. The boy had also been battling leukemia after getting a bone marrow transplant in 2019.
Family of the boy and medical experts who spoke with FOX6 News say the same thing: We must not let our guard down in the pandemic, and to think of those most vulnerable to the disease.
Hernandez's mother told FOX6, in Spanish, that Alex was a loving and strong boy; he never have up in his fight to get better. She added that he always found time to pray, even in his last moments.
COVID-19 cases rise among children
Milwaukee County health officials say cases have been on the rise since March 15 -- most notably among children.
Officials say over the past week there have been 143 new confirmed cases in children in Milwaukee County. Ages ranged from infant to 18 years old. They say the cause of this spike could be due to a variety of reasons -- like the return to school, spring sports, or spread break travel.
"If you are going to have playtime with other families or take your kids out to the store make sure they are wearing their masks," said Dr. Nicole Fortuna with Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers.
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With this news of Hernandez's passing comes the urgency to get the COVID-19 vaccine to children as soon as possible.
"With our adults getting vaccinated it isn’t a free pass to say, 'hey. it’s okay my kid is not going to get sick' because there is that chance," Fortuna said.
The vaccine is not yet available for most children. However, Pfizer just released data this week that shows in clinical trials, their vaccine is 100% effective in protecting kids between 12 and 15 years old.
Shots open up to the general public 16 and older in Wisconsin on Monday, April 5.