Science

A 5-year-old with COVID-19 died in an extremely rare case in Georgia

Summary List PlacementA five-year-old boy in Georgia has died with COVID-19 in a vanishingly rare case.  Wyatt Gibson, who died Friday, had no underlying conditions prior to getting sick, his godmother Amanda Summey told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as strep throat and a staph infection, his grandmother Andrea Mitchell told the paper.  Of  COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia, 6% overall have been in children under the age of 11, with just five children dying with the virus, state data shows. Vaccines have not been authorized for use on under-12s, so Gibson was not...

A Google Streetview image of T C Thompson Childrens Hospital, Tennessee

Summary List Placement

A five-year-old boy in Georgia has died with COVID-19 in a vanishingly rare case. 

Wyatt Gibson, who died Friday, had no underlying conditions prior to getting sick, his godmother Amanda Summey told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as strep throat and a staph infection, his grandmother Andrea Mitchell told the paper. 

Of  COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia, 6% overall have been in children under the age of 11, with just five children dying with the virus, state data shows. Vaccines have not been authorized for use on under-12s, so Gibson was not vaccinated. 

Gibson’s death comes amid a surge in cases in the state which has seen the seven-day average of new infections rise from around 300 in mid-June to more than 1,000 by mid-July, according to The New York Times’ cases tracker

According to a statement provided to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by grandmother Andrea Mitchell, Gibson had “barely had more than the sniffle” before getting COVID-19.

“No appetite, a little vomiting, a bit lethargic,” Mitchell wrote. “He’d barely had more than the sniffle or two as prior illnesses go. Then the white tongue. Alarmed, he was hustled off to the local hospital.”

The next day he was taken to a children’s hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she wrote. 

Gibson’s father Wes, a deputy at Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, posted an emotional tribute on Facebook that described Wyatt as a boy who loved playing outdoors and building things. 

“He was full of love, and brightened everyone’s world,” he wrote. “Wyatt would wave to strangers in the grocery store, because he knew that it absolutely made their day.”

His mother Andrea posted a video Sunday of Wyatt running carefree around their garden with a small guitar, singing: “I love you trees and birds, and I love donkeys, and I love dogs.” 

“Wyatt was nothing but pure love and the perfect overload of happiness,” she said in a post accompanying the video. 

Both Wyatt’s father Wes and his baby sister have also tested positive for COVID-19, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. 

Several US states have reported a slight rise in child hospitalizations with COVID-19, highlighting the importance of adult vaccination to protect them, as Insider’s Hilary Brueck and Kelsie Sandoval reported

Lisa Smith, a pediatric surgeon and COVID-19 advisor in Hamilton County, Tennessee told ABC affiliate News Channel 9 in response to the death: “The most important thing to realize is that while children may be at low risk, they are not at no risk.”

Georgia trails the rest of the country for vaccinations, with 38% of the population having been been fully vaccinated compared to a 49% nationwide average, per the Times. 

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