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Teenage patient at Valley Children's Hospital in Madera dies of COVID-19 | Update

The Department of Public Health said Friday the victim was a teenager, had other health conditions and died in the Central Valley. No other details were released.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — 2:45 p.m. update:

Valley Children's Hospital in Madera confirmed in a Facebook post that the child was one of its patients.  

"The death of this patient reaffirms that children---and no age group---are not immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," the statement says. "It is imperative, now more than ever, for us to all work together to prevent further spread of this disease."

RELATED: Valley Children’s Hospital: Children can get coronavirus and spread it

Original story:
California health officials have reported the state’s first coronavirus death of a child. 

The state Department of Public Health said Friday the victim was a teenager, had other health conditions and died in the Central Valley.  

No other details were released. 

The state's death toll surpassed 9,000 on Friday, and three-quarters were 65 and older. Only about 9% of California's half-million confirmed virus cases are children, and very few have suffered conditions serious enough for hospitalization. 

Scientists still aren’t certain why children don’t seem to be as seriously affected by the virus as adults. 

COVID-19 BACKGROUND

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine; however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

WHY HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE SO CONCERNED

Some people have compared the low overall death toll to the flu's high annual death toll in the United States as a reason not to be concerned about COVID-19, however, doctors and health officials are concerned for three main reasons:

  1. There's no vaccine yet and won't be one for until early 2021, at the soonest. Scientists are still researching what other medications could help patients. 
  2. Some people have built up immunity to the flu, but few have immunity to COVID-19 version of coronavirus. 
  3. Both the flu and COVID-19 are spread by droplets, but COVID-19 might be spread in the air. Scientists are researching exactly how COVID-19 spreads.

WATCH MORE: The coronavirus has had a major impact. Nearly 50 million people have applied for unemployment and thousands have died. Here is a look back at the past few months.