Pediatric death toll now 18 as coronavirus kills another Louisiana child

Children are now being infected more than any other age group, officials say

By: - October 4, 2021 1:16 pm
Pediatric death toll now 18 as coronavirus kills another Louisiana child

Pediatric COVID-19 infections have increased significantly since August, as evident in this Louisiana Department of Health chart. (LDH.gov/coronavirus)

Just three days after health officials reported the death of a young child from COVID-19, the coronavirus has claimed another Louisiana child, according to a Louisiana Department of Health release Monday.

The news brings Louisiana’s pediatric death toll to 18 for the entire COVID-19 pandemic in the state.   

The health department said the child was between the ages of 12 and 17 and is the ninth child in Louisiana to die from coronavirus during the fourth surge, which began in early July.

The state reported 39 deaths of all ages on Monday. 

Pediatric infections in Louisiana have increased significantly since August and deaths have been occurring on a near-weekly basis.

On Friday, state health authorities reported the coronavirus killed a child between the ages of 0 and 4.  Just days earlier, Gov. John Bel Edwards had warned the public that health officials have noticed a sharp rise in pediatric infections. 

State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter said the under 18-year-old age group has emerged as the frontrunner for new COVID-19 cases, accounting for 24% of the state’s active infections. Particularly, 5- to 17-year-olds have accounted for more new infections than any other age group since the week of Aug. 12-18, according to health department data

“Since mid-July, we have mourned the loss of a child to COVID nine times,” Kanter said. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, but that village also has the responsibility of protecting its children. Masks and vaccines are the protection we have available to us, and we all must do our part.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 12 and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination. The Pfizer vaccine is available to children 12 and older. Parents are urged to confirm with the vaccine provider that their child is under 18 to ensure the Pfizer vaccine is available before making an appointment.

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Wesley Muller
Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Among his recognitions are McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association. Muller is an alumnus of Jesuit High School and the University of New Orleans and is a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Louisiana with his wife and two sons.

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