A 5-year-old girl became the first child to die of COVID-19 in Michigan.
On Sunday, April 19, 2020, Skylar Herbert died from a rare complication of the novel disease, according to FOX 2 Detroit.
Herbert, a resident of Detroit, was diagnosed with COVID-19 at Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak after experiencing a headache for several days. After initially being diagnosed with strep throat, she tested positive for the virus.
She eventually developed meningoencephalitis, a rare complication from COVID-19, which caused brain swelling and a lesion on her frontal lobe. After two weeks on a ventilator, the child was pronounced brain dead.
Before Herbert’s death, the youngest person in Michigan to die from COVID-19 was 20 years old.
Herbert had been practicing social distancing with her family for weeks before she became ill. Her father reportedly is a firefighter who has shown symptoms of the virus, including a cough and fever. However, at press time, his test results for COVID-19 were inconclusive.
In a statement, officials at Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak wrote, “The loss of a child, at any time, under any circumstances, is a tragedy. We are heartbroken that COVID-19 has taken the life of a child. We extend our deepest sympathy to Skylar’s family and all others who have lost a loved one to this virus.”
At press time, there were 31,424 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,391 deaths in Michigan, according to Michigan Disease Surveillance System and Vital Records. African Americans represent at least 76 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Detroit.