A 5-year-old in Michigan has died after contracting COVID-19, making her the youngest person in the state to die from the virus. She is also one of just three children in U.S. to die from the coronavirus.
Skylar Herbert’s symptoms began a month ago with a “bad headache,” and a mild fever, but her condition soon worsened, her mother, LaVondria Herbert, told the Detroit News. Herbert told the paper she took Skylar to the doctor because the child’s headache wasn’t going away with pain medication, and the doctor diagnosed her with strep throat and gave Skylar antibiotics.
But when the 5-year-old’s pain didn’t go away, Herbert decided to take her daughter to the hospital.
"She had been crying all night and saying the headache would not go away … I told my husband we needed to take her to emergency because I just didn’t know," Herbert told the Detroit News.
Doctors at Beaumont Royal Oak tested Skylar for COVID-19 and it came back positive. She was released a day later, but ended up back in the hospital just hours later after suffering a seizure, according to the paper.
Doctors said Skylar had developed a rare form of meningitis and brain swelling, a rare side effect of coronavirus. She was put on a ventilator, but on Sunday, her family decided to take her off the ventilator because her “improvement had stopped,” her mother said.
“The doctors told us that it was possible she was brain dead, and we basically just knew she wasn’t coming back to us,” Herbert said.
Skylar’s parents, a police officer and firefighter in Detroit, said they have no idea how she contracted the virus as she had been in the house three weeks prior to falling ill.
“She was the type of girl that would just run up to you and jump in your arms and hug you," Herbert told the Detroit News "It didn’t matter what she was doing, she would stop what she was doing and tell me she loved me like 20 times a day."
Children have made up a very small amount of people who have died from the novel coronavirus and the CDC has said that studies suggest COVID-19 may present itself in children in a less severe form. As such, they may experience fewer symptoms.
The CDC has reported that three children have died from COVID-19 in the United States, including a 6-week-old infant in Connecticut in March.