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2-year-old boy dies from COVID in New Taipei

Case was 1st child in Taiwan to suffer severe symptoms, rapid progression of COVID

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(Unsplash photo)

(Unsplash photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A two-year-old who was recently diagnosed with COVID and was in critical condition died Monday (April 18).

New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) announced Tuesday (April 19) that the boy, a resident of the city's Zhonghe District, had been declared dead the previous evening. Hou said that pediatric intensive care specialists at Shuangho Hospital and National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) had coordinated with the city government and health bureau to take every possible measure to save the child.

The boy's father and six-year-old sister tested positive for COVID on April 13. The children's mother called 119 and requested that they isolate at home.

On April 14, the two-year-old started to develop a fever, and his mother took both children to the hospital for PCR tests. After undergoing screening, they were given antipyretic medication and asked to go home and wait for the results.

However, at 4 p.m. that afternoon, the boy fell into a coma. The parents sought medical assistance from numerous medical facilities, but it was not until 7:30 p.m. that an ambulance took the child to Shuangho Hospital.

On April 16, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that the patient was the first child to have a severe case of COVID in Taiwan. The CECC stated that the boy had been placed in an intensive care unit that day.

He was diagnosed with acute encephalitis complicated by multiple organ abnormalities and was intubated and placed on a ventilator. To treat his condition, physicians administered steroids and immunomodulators.

According to Hou, the boy's condition deteriorated rapidly, and the pediatric intensive care team at Shuangho Hospital and NTUH counterparts worked together to try to save him. However, his condition continued to worsen and doctors declared him dead on Monday evening.

Shuangho Hospital director Cheng I-chun told the media during an online briefing Monday that this was the first case of COVID to be so severe and progress so rapidly in a child in Taiwan since the start of the pandemic. Cheng said the Shuangho and NTU teams believe it could have been a concomitant infection with other viruses and that more tests are needed to verify this theory.