Dallas County

Child COVID Cases in Dallas County Increased 63% This Week

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A 5-year-old boy has become Dallas County's youngest person to die from COVID-19.

Officials say he had underlying conditions and had been critically ill in a hospital.

He is only the second person under 18 to die from the virus in Dallas county.

The announcement comes as coronavirus cases among children climb.

As coronavirus cases begin to decrease in Dallas County, cases among children are trending in a different direction.

From July 1 to July 17, the county reported 893 children were diagnosed with the disease.

Friday, July 24, the number had jumped to 1,453, a 63% increase in a week.

“It's important for you to note this rapidly-spreading virus affects all ages,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said during a press conference Friday.

The message is hitting close to home for Catherine and Jeff Carlton of Arlington.

Their 11-year-old son Scotty, who has a terminal birth defect, tested positive last week. Then their 9-year-old son Jeffrey did, too.

Both are now recovering at home.

“Our fear since March has been that something like this could happen. What we had never anticipated, I guess, was that it would also impact our perfectly healthy children as well,” Jeff Carlton said.

Besides the 5-year-old announced Friday, the only other child in Dallas County to die from coronavirus complications is 17-year-old Jameela Barber, a cadet leader in the ROTC and a National Honor Society inductee at Lancaster High School.

Dr. Suzanne Whitworth, Medical Director of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Cook Children's Hospital, says about 7% of Texans who test positive for COVID-19 are under 19 years old, about the same as national numbers.

“No one wants a child to pass, ever,” Whitworth said. “Fatality in children with COVID, thankfully, is close to zero. It’s not zero. Every now and then, a child dies of COVID disease, but it is percentage-wise a very low number of the total.”

Dr. Whitworth also says children don't transmit as much of the disease as adults.

“There’s less transmission of COVID disease from a child to an adult which was kind of an unexpected finding scientifically,” she said.

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