Health

Coronavirus: Are the most vulnerable groups expanding? First child in UK dies from virus

Coronavirus attacks the respiratory system, leaving some victims short of breath. A notorious killer, is the virus even more dangerous than suspected?

A 13-year-old boy, Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from south London took his last breath on April 30.

The young teenager, from Brixton, died in King's College Hospital in the early hours of Monday morning.

He is the youngest person to die from a COVID-19 infection in the UK.

Ismail's bereaved family spoke out: "He was put on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma, but sadly died.

"To our knowledge he had no underlying health conditions. We are beyond devastated."

Dr Nathalie MacDermott, clinical lecturer at King's College London, said Ismail's death "highlights the importance of us all taking the precautions we can to reduce the spread of infection in the UK and worldwide".

She continued: "It is essential that we undertake research to determine why a proportion of deaths occur outside of the groups expected to succumb to infection.

"It may indicate an underlying genetic susceptibility of how the immune system interacts with the virus."

Another teenager has also passed away after testing positive for COVID-19.

His name is Luca Di Nicola and he was only 19 years old when he passed away on Tuesday April 31.

Described as "very healthy" by his family, his and Ismail's deaths beg the question: are the vulnerable groups expanding?

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As of 9am on March 31, 1,789 people have died having tested positive for the virus [in the UK? if so specifiy].

At present, vulnerable groups include pregnant women, people over the age of 70 and those with underlying health issues.

Children are thought to experience more mild symptoms of infection but, as these cases show, that's not always the case.

Dr MacDermott added: "While chronic underlying medical conditions are known to result in worse outcomes in COVID-19 infection, we have heard of cases of younger individuals with no known medical problems succumbing to the disease."


Dr Vanessa Sancho-Shimizu, a research fellow in infectious diseases and virology at Imperial College London said: "There is no room for complacency in this pandemic."

Evidence has shown that this virus has no mercy.

It will infect whoever, whenever transmission is available.

Help to prevent the spread of the deadly disease by following hygiene standards and social distancing measures.


Speaking at yesterday's Downing Street press conference, Michael Gove, Cabinet Office Minister, said: "There are some signs - as a result of people observing social distancing - that we may be able to flatten the spread of infection.

"But now is absolutely not the time for people to imagine that there can be any relaxation or slackening."

This means "stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives".

Your adherence to government guidelines can help to reduce the number of people who lose loved ones. Do your part.



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